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Dumas, Vol. Twenty 


























AND 15TH OF NOVEMBER, 1534 . . . 129 





(D Vol. 20 





II. THE KING'S HUNT . .... 209 


IV. WAR . 238 






IX. A FIGHT . . .296 

X. M. DE THELIGNY . . . .307 







LET us at once transport, without further preface or 
preamble, those of our readers who do not fear 
to take a leap of three centuries across the past in 
our company, into the presence of men we would have 
them know, and into the midst of events we would 
have them witness. 

The time is the 5th of May, of the year 1555. Henry II. 
is reigning over France; Mary Tudor over England; Charles 
Y. over Spain, Germany, Flanders, Italy, and the two Indies 
that is to say, over a sixth part of the world. 

The scene opens in the neighborhood of the little town 
of Hesdin-Fert, which Emmanuel Philibert, Prince of Pied- 
mont, has lately rebuilt, intending it to take the place of 
Hesdin-la-Yieux, captured by him last year, and razed to 
the ground. So you see we are travelling in that part of old 
France which was then called Artois, and which is known 
to-day as the department of the Pas -de- Calais. 

We say of old France, because Artois did actually be- 
come a portion of the patrimony of our kings under Phi- 
lippe- Auguste, the conqueror of Saint- Jean- d' Acre and 
Bouvines; but, though it formed a part of France in 



1180, and was given by Saint Louis to his younger 
brother, Robert, in 1237, it afterward lapsed, somehow 
or other, into the hands of three women Mahaud, Jeanne 
L, and Jeanne II. thus falling under the control of three 
different houses. Then, with Marguerite, sister of Jeanne 
II. and daughter of Jeanne I., it passed to Comte Louis de 
Male, whose daughter brought it, together with the coun- 
ties of Flanders and Nevers, into the house of the Dukes 
of Burgundy. 

Finally, after the death of Charles the Bold, Mary of 
Burgundy, the last heiress of the gigantic name and im- 
mense possessions of her father, made, on the day she mar- 
ried Maximilian, son of the Emperor Frederick III., both 
name and possessions part and parcel of the domains of the 
house of Austria, in which they were swallowed up, as a 
river is swallowed up in the ocean. 

It was a great loss for France, for Artois is a fine and 
rich province. Consequently, for three years, with varying 
fortunes and unforeseen results, Henry II. and Charles Y. 
have been struggling face to face, and foot to foot, the one 
to regain, the other to keep it. 

During* the furious war in which the son encountered the 
old enemy of the father, and, like the father, was to have 
his Marignano and Pavia, each had his good and bad days, 
his victories and defeats. France had seen the army of 
Charles Y. driven in disorder from the siege of Metz, and 
had taken Marienbourg, Bouvines and Dinant; the Empire, 
on the other hand, had stormed Therouanne and Hesdin, 
and, furious at its defeat before Metz, had burned the one, 
and levelled the other to the ground. 

We have compared Metz to Marignano, and the compari- 
son is not exaggerated. An army of fifty thousand infantry 
and fourteen thousand cavalry, decimated by cold and dis- 
ease, had vanished like a mist, leaving as the sole trace of 
its existence ten thousand dead, two thousand tents and a 
hundred and twenty cannon! 

So great was the demoralization that the fugitives did 


not even try to defend themselves. Charles of Bourbon 
was pursuing a body of Spanish cavalry; the captain who 
commanded it halted and rode straight up to the hostile 

"Prince, duke, or simple gentleman," he said, "or what- 
ever else you be, if you are fighting for glory, seek it else- 
where; for to-day you are butchering men too feeble to fly, 
even, far less to resist you. ' ' 

Charles of Bourbon sheathed his sword, and ordered his 
men to do the same; and the Spanish captain and his troop 
continued their retreat without being further troubled by 

Charles V. was very far from imitating such clemency. 
When Therouanne was taken, he ordered it to be delivered 
up to pillage and razed to the ground. Not only were the 
private houses destroyed, but even the churches, monaster- 
ies, and hospitals ; not a vestige of a wall was left standing, 
and that there might not be one stone left on another, the 
inhabitants of Flanders and Artois were called in to scatter 
all that remained. 

The summons was eagerly obeyed. The garrison of The- 
rouanne had been a thorn in the side of the people around, 
and they flocked to it, armed with spades, hammers and 
pickaxes, which they plied with such goodwill that the 
city disappeared like Saguntum under the feet of Hannibal, 
or Carthage before the breath of Scipio. 

Hesdin was treated in the same way as Therouanne. 

But, in the meanwhile, Emmanuel Philibert had been 
named commander-in-chief of the troops of the Empire in 
the Low Countries, and, if he could not save Therouanne, 
he was at least able to rebuild Hesdin. 

He had accomplished this immense work in a few months, 
and a new city sprang up as if by enchantment, a quarter of 
a league from the old. This new city, planted in the middle 
of the swamps of the Mesnil, on the banks of the Canche, 
was so well fortified that it excited the admiration of Yauban 
a hundred and fifty years after, although, during the course 


of these one "hundred and fifty years the system of fortifica- 
tion had entirely changed. 

Its founder called it Hesdin- 7^; that is to say, he had 
joined, in order to compel the new city to remember its ori- 
gin, these four letters to its name, F. E. E. T., given with 
the white cross by the Emperor of Germany, after the siege 
of Ehodes, to Amadeus the Great, thirteenth count of Savoy; 
they signified: Fortitude ejus Rhodum tenuit, which means, 
"His valor saved Ehodes. " 

But this was not the only miracle wrought by the pro- 
motion of the young general to whom Charles V. had just 
confided his army. Thanks to the rigid discipline which 
he established, the unhappy country, which for four years 
had been the theatre of war, was beginning to breathe; the 
severest orders were given to prevent pillaging and maraud- 
ing; every officer guilty of disobedience was disarmed and 
imprisoned in his tent for a longer or shorter period, in 
sight of the whole army, and every private, taken in the 
act, was hanged. 

The result was that, as hostilities had very nearly ceased 
on both sides, during the winter of 1554 and 1555, the last 
four or five months seemed to the inhabitants of Artois, 
when compared with the years that had elapsed between 
the siege of Metz and the reconstruction of Hesdin, some- 
thing like a golden age. 

There was still, now and then, some castle burned here 
and there, some farm pillaged, or house plundered, either 
by the French, who held Abbeville, Doullens and Montreuil- 
sur-Mer, and who ventured on excursions into the enemy's 
territory, or by the incorrigible marauders, reiters and gyp- 
sies who hovered on the outskirts of the imperial army; but 
Emmanuel Philibert was so successful in clearing the country 
of the French, and dealt such rough justice to his own soldiers 
that these catastrophies were becoming daily more rare. 
Such, then, was the condition of the province of Artois, and 
especially in the neighborhood of Hesdin- Fert, on the day 
when our story opens; that is to say, the 5th of May, 1555. 


But after giving our readers a rapid sketch of the moral 
and political state of the country, it remains for us, in order 
to complete the picture, to give them an idea of its material 
aspect an aspect that has totally changed since that period, 
thanks to the invasions of manufactures and the improve- 
ments in agriculture. 

In order to accomplish this difficult task, and revive a 
past that has almost vanished, let us try to depict the scene 
which would meet the gaze of a spectator standing with his 
back to the sea on the loftiest tower of Hesdin, and having 
under his eyes the horizon, extending in a semicircle from 
the northern extremity of the little chain of hills which 
hides Bethune, to the last southern bluff's of the same chain 
at the foot of which Doullens rises. 

He would have first, in front of him, advancing in a point 
toward the banks of the Canche, the thick and gloomy forest 
of Saint- Pol- sur-Ternoise, whose vast green foliage, spread 
like a mantle over the shoulders of the hills, continued until 
its borders were dipped in the sources of the Scarpe, which 
is to the Scheldt what the Moselle is to the Rhine. 

To the right of this forest, and, as a consequence, to the 
left of the observer we are imagining placed on the loftiest 
tower of Hesdin, at the back of the plain, sheltered by the 
same hills that bound the horizon, the villages of Enchin 
and Fruges indicated, by the bluish clouds of smoke which 
enveloped them like a transparent mist or translucent veil, 
that the chilly natives of these northern provinces had not 
yet bid adieu, in spite of the appearance of the first days of 
spring, to their kitchen fires, those jovial and comforting 
friends of the days of winter. 

In front of these two villages, and not unlike a half- 
distrustful sentinel, who, though he has ventured to leave 
the forest, still thinks it better to keep close to its border, 
rose a pretty little dwelling, half chateau and half farm, 
called the Parcq. 

A .road, which shimmered like a gold ribbon on the 
green robe of the plain, might be seen stretching for some 


distance from the entrance to the farm, and then dividing 
into two branches, the one running straight to Hesdin, the 
other skirting the forest and connecting the dwellers in 
the Parcq with the villages of Frevent, Auxy-le- Chateau, 
and Nouvion in Ponthieu. 

The plain, extending from these three places to Hesdin, 
formed the basin opposite the one we have just described; 
that is to say, it was situated to the left of the basin of 
the forest of Saint- Pol, and, consequently, to the right of 
the imaginary spectator who has been our cicerone so far. 

It was the most remarkable part of the landscape, not 
by any means on account of the natural features of the 
ground, but because of the fortuitous circumstances that 
gave it animation at the present moment. 

In truth, while the opposite plain was covered with 
ripening harvests, this was almost entirely hidden by the 
camp of the Emperor Charles Y. 

This camp, surrounded by ditches, and hemmed in by 
palisades, included an entire city, not of houses, but of tents. 

From the centre of these tents rose the imperial pavilion 
of Charles V., like Notre Dame de Paris in the Cite", like 
the palace of the popes in Avignon, or like a three-decker 
in the midst of the crested waves of the ocean. At its four 
corners floated four standards, one of which ought to have 
sufficed human ambition: the standard of the Empire, the 
standard of Spain, the standard of Kome, and the standard 
of Lombardy; for this hero, this conqueror, this victor, as 
he was called, had been crowned four times at Toledo, 
with the crown of diamonds, as King of Spain and the 
Indies; at Aix-la-Chapelle, with the crown of silver, as 
Emperor of Germany; and, in fine, at Bologna, with the 
golden crown, as King of the Romans, and the iron crown, 
as King of the Lombards. And when an attempt was made 
to have his coronation take place at Rome and Milan in- 
stead of Bologna, when it was shown to him that the brief 
of Pope Stephen forbade the golden crown to be taken from 
the Vatican, and the decree of the Emperor Charlemagne 


prohibited the iron crown from leaving Monza, the haughty 
reply of this conqueror of Frangois I. and Luther and Soli- 
man was that it was his custom not to run after crowns, but 
to have crowns run after him. 

And note well that these four standards were surmounted 
by his own standard, which pictured the Pillars of Hercules 
no longer as the limits of the Old World, but as the gateway 
of the New, and flung forth to all the winds of heaven this 
ambitious device, grown more portentously large by its very 
mutilation, Plus ultra ! 

At about fifty yards from the emperor's pavilion stood 
the tent of the commander- in-chief, Emmanuel Philibert, not 
distinguishable from those of the other captains, except that 
it bore two standards: one bearing the arms of Savoy a sil- 
ver cross on a ground gules, with these four letters, whose 
meaning we have already explained, F. E. E. T. ; and the 
other, his own private arms, representing a hand raising to 
heaven a trophy composed of lances, swords and pistols, with 
this device, Spoliatis arma supersunt; that is to say, "Arms 
are still left to the despoiled." 

The camp, which these two tents overlooked, was divided 
into four quarters, in the midst of which crept the river, 
crossed by three bridges. The first quarter was intended 
for the Germans; the second for the Spaniards; the third 
for the English. The fourth contained the park of artillery, 
entirely renewed since the defeat of Metz, and raised to the 
number of a hundred and twenty cannons and fifteen bom- 
bards, by the addition of the pieces taken from the French 
at Therouanne and Hesclin. 

On the breech of those taken from the French, the em- 
peror had engraved his two favorite words, Plus ultra ! 
Behind the cannons and bombards were ranged, in three 
lines, the caissons and wagons containing the military 
stores; sentinels with drawn swords, but without arque- 
buse or pistol, were there to see that no one approached 
these . volcanoes, which a single spark would make burst 
forth in flame. 


Other sentinels were stationed outside the inclosure. 

In the streets of the camp, regulated like those of a city, 
thousands of men were moving about with military activity, 
tempered, nevertheless, by German gravity, Spanish pride, 
and English moroseness. 

The sun was glinting on all these arms, which sent back 
his rays in flashes; the wind played with all these standards 
and banners and pennons, furling and unfurling their silky 
folds and brilliant colors at its own sweet will. 

This activity and noise, which always ruffle the surface 
of multitudes and of oceans, formed a striking contrast to 
the silence and solitude on the other side of the plain, where 
the sun only lighted up the shifting mosaic of the harvests, 
then at different stages of maturity, and where the wind 
stirred those rustic flowers which young girls delight to 
weave into purple and azure garlands wherewith to adorn 
themselves on Sundays. 

And now that we have devoted the first chapter of our 
book to a description of what would have met the eyes of 
an observer stationed on the highest tower of Hesdin-Fert at 
any time during the 5th of May, 1555, let us devote the sec- 
ond chapter to certain things that would have escaped his 
eyes, however piercing they might be. 



THE things that would have escaped his eyes, however 
piercing they might be, were taking place in the 
thickest, and consequently gloomiest spot in the for- 
est of Saint-Pol- sur-Ternoise, at the back of a grotto which 
the trees enveloped with their shade and the ivy with its 
.network; while for the greater security of the present occu- 
pants of this grotto, a sentinel, hidden in the brushwood, 
lying flat on his stomach, and as motionless as one of the 


trunks on the ground around him, was watching to see that 
no profane eye disturbed the important conventicle, to 
which, however, we, in our capacity of romancer that is 
to say, magician before whom all doors are thrown open 
propose introducing our readers. 

Let us take advantage of the moment when the sentinel, 
who has not seen us, but whom we have discovered, turns 
his eyes in the direction ot the noise made by a frightened 
goat bounding through a brake, to glide, unperceived, into 
the grotto, and follow in its slightest details the incident 
occurring there, sheltered, as we are, behind a rocky pro- 

This grotto is occupied by eight men, differing in face, 
costume, and temper, although, from the arms they bear, or 
which lie on the ground within reach of their hands, it is 
clear they have adopted the same calling. 

One of them, with ink-stained fingers and a sly, crafty 
countenance, is dipping his pen with the nib of which he 
smooths out one of those hairs to be found on the surface 
of badly made paper in an inkhorn such as law-clerks, 
ushers, and copyists then wore at the girdle, and is writing 
on a makeshift stone table propped on two massive sup- 
ports; while another, holding a burning pine branch, is 
illuminating not only the writer, table, and paper, but also 
himself and his six other companions with more or less bril- 
liancy, according to their proximity or remoteness. 

Undoubtedly the document in question must be interest- 
ing to the company at large, seeing the ardor with which 
they severally take part in its concoction. 

Three of them, however, seem less taken up than the 
others with this purely material concern. 

The first is a handsome young man, about twenty-four 
or twenty-five years old, elegantly clad in a cuirass of buf- 
falo-hide, proof against sword and dagger surely, if not 
against a bullet. A maroon velvet jacket, a little faded 
undoubtedly, but still very presentable, after disclosing, at 
the shoulder, a sleeve cut after the Spanish style that is to 


say, after the latest fashion fell about the length of four 
fingers below the jerkin, falling in ample folds over breeches 
of green cloth, also of the newest mode, and lost in a pair of 
boots high enough to protect the thighs on horseback, and 
soft and pliant enough to sink down below the knees when 
the wearer is on foot. 

He is humming a rondeau of Clement Marot, all the time 
twisting his black silky mustache with one hand, and comb- 
ing, with the other, his hair, which he wears a little longer 
than was fashionable at the period, evidently with the object 
of turning to the best account the soft wavy locks with which 
Nature had endowed him. 

The second is a man scarcely thirty-six years old; only 
he has a face so scarred and furrowed by wounds that it is 
impossible to assign him any age. His arm and a portion 
of his chest are bare; and on whatever part of his body hap- 
pens to be exposed to view, a series of scars may be ob- 
served, quite as numerous as those that adorn his visage. 
He is engaged in attending to a wound which has denuded 
a part of the biceps; luckily, the wound is in the left arm, 
and therefore the consequences will not be so grave as if it 
had affected the right. He is holding between his teeth the 
end of a linen bandage, which he is binding tightly round a 
handful of lint applied to the cut, first having steeped the 
said lint in a certain balm prepared according to the pre- 
scription of a gypsy, and believed by him to be infallible. 
For that matter, not a word of complaint issues from his 
lips, and he appears as insensible to pain as if the member 
he is trying to heal was made of pine or of oak. 

The third is a man of forty, tall and thin, with pale fea- 
tures, and the lineaments of an ascetic. He is on his knees 
in a corner, slipping a chaplet of beads between his fingers, 
and, with a volubility that belongs only to him, is hurrying 
through a dozen Paters and a dozen Aves. From time to 
time his right hand drops the chaplet, and resounds on his 
breast with the reverberation of a cooper's mallet on an 
empty cask. But after he has pronounced a mea culpa two 


or three times in a loud voice, he returns to his beads, and 
runs them as rapidly through his fingers as a monk does his 
rosary, or a dervish his combolio. 

The three personages we have still to describe have a 
character, heavens be praised! not less marked than the 
five we have already had the honor of passing in review 
under the eyes of our readers. 

One of these has his two hands pressed on the very table 
on which the writer is performing his task ; he follows, with- 
out missing a single stroke, all the turns and twists of the 
pen. It is he that has the most observations to make on 
the document in question; and it must be admitted that his 
observations, although tinctured with egotism, are always 
full of artfulness, and, strange to say, so much do the two 
things seem opposed, of sound sense also. He is forty-five, 
has cunning eyes, small and deep- set, under fair, bushy 

Another of them is lying flat on the ground; he has 
found a stone good for giving a sharp edge to swords and a 
keen point to daggers. He is turning the discovery to ac- 
count, and, by repeated rubbings on this stone, accompanied 
by an abundant expenditure of saliva, he is gradually re- 
storing the point of his poniard, which had become blunted, 
to its usual sharpness. His tongue, which sticks out be- 
tween his teeth from a corner of his mouth, is itself a wit- 
ness to all the attention and, we may add, all the interest 
excited in him by his present occupation. However, this 
attention is not so absolute as to hinder him from lending 
an ear to the discussion. If the clauses of the instrument 
meet his approval, he simply gives a nod of satisfaction ; if, 
on the contrary, it wounds his moral sense or sets his calcu- 
lations at defiance, he rises, approaches the scribe, places 
the point of his dagger on the paper, with these four words, 
"Pardon; you are saying?" and does not raise his dagger 
until he is perfectly satisfied with the explanation a satis- 
faction expressed by a still more abundant salivation and 
more furious rubbing of his dagger on the stone, thanks 


to which the weapon promises soon to resume its pristine 

The last, and here we must begin by acknowledging the 
wrong we have done in ranking him among those occupied 
with such purely material interests as are for the nonce en- 
grossing the scribe and his assistants ; the last, with his back 
supported by one of the walls of the grotto, his hands hang- 
ing by his side, and his eyes raised to heaven, or rather to 
the damp, gloomy vault on which, like will-o'-the-wisps, 
the flickering rays>of the pine torch are playing the last, 
we say again, is at once a dreamer and a poet. What is he 
searching for at the present moment ? Is it the solution of 
some problem such as were lately resolved by Christopher 
Columbus or Galileo ? Is it the form of one of those tercets 
constructed by Dante, or one of those octaves chanted by 
Tasso ? Only the demon that keeps watch and ward within 
him could give us an answer; and he concerns himself so 
little with material questions being entirely absorbed in 
the contemplation of abstractions that he has allowed all 
the clothing of the worthy poet, which is not steel or copper 
or iron, to fall into rags. 

And now that we have so far sketched the portraits as 
well as we could, it is right to give a name to each of them. 

The individual holding the pen is called Procope; he is 
a Norman by birth, and almost a jurist by education; he 
lards his conversation with axioms drawn from the Roman 
law and aphorisms borrowed from the Capitularies of Char- 
lemagne. Any one who is a party to an interchange of 
documents with him may count on a lawsuit following close 
on the transaction. It is true that whoever will rest satis- 
fied with his word shall find his word golden; only his man- 
ner of keeping it does not always square with morality, at 
least as that virtue is apprehended by the vulgar. We shall 
quote only a single example of this an example, also, 
which accounts for the adventurous career he has adopted 
at the time we meet him. A noble lord of the court of 
Franois I. came, one day, to propose an affair to him and 


three of his companions. The royal treasurer was to bring, 
that very evening, a sum of a thousand gold crowns from 
the Arsenal to the Louvre; the proposal was to stop the 
treasurer at the corner of the Eue Saint- Pol, take the thou- 
sand crowns from him, and share them as follows: five 
hundred with the great lord, who would wait in the Place 
Eoyale until the job was done, and who, as a tribute to his 
rank, demanded half; the other half between Procope and 
his three companions, who would thus each receive one hun- 
dred and twenty-five crowns. The word was pledged on 
both sides, and the matter was finished according to agree- 
ment; only when the treasurer had been duly robbed, mur- 
dered, and flung into the river, the three companions of 
Procope ventured the proposal to slope toward Notre Dame 
instead of keeping the appointment at the Place Royale, 
and so save the whole thousand crowns, instead of remitting 
five hundred of them to the noble lord. Whereat Procope 
reminded them of their pledged word. 

"Gentlemen," he said gravely, "you forget that this 
would be to violate a treaty, to deceive a client ! No, our 
loyalty must be beyond reproach. We shall remit to the 
duke" (the great lord was a duke) "the five hundred gold 
crowns that belong to him, every one of them. But," he 
continued, seeing that the proposal excited some murmurs, 
" distinguimus : when he has pocketed them, and is forced 
to confess that we are honest men, nothing will prevent us 
from forming an ambuscade at the cemetery of Saint-Jean, 
by which I know he must pass; it is a deserted spot, and 
quite the place for an ambuscade. We shall treat the duke 
as we did the treasurer; and, as the cemetery of Saint- Jean 
is quite close to the river, both will be found, to-morrow, in 
the nets of Saint- Cloud. So, instead of one hundred and 
twenty -five crowns, we shall have two hundred and fifty 
each, which two hundred and fifty we may enjoy and dis- 
pose of without remorse, seeing we have kept our word 
faithfully to this good duke!" 

The proposal was accepted with enthusiasm, and the plan 


carried out accordingly. Unfortunately, in their eagerness 
to throw the duke into the river, the four partners did not 
perceive that the duke was still breathing. The coolness of 
the water revived him, and, instead of going to Saint- Cloud, 
as Procope expected, he landed on the Quai de Grevres, 
pushed on to the Chatelet, and gave the provost of Paris, 
who at that time happened to be M. d'Estourville, such an 
accurate description of the four bandits that they judged 
it prudent to quit Paris the morrow after, being apprehen- 
sive of certain legal proceedings, at the end of which, not- 
withstanding Procope 's weighty knowledge of the law, they 
might have been forced to abandon a thing valued more or 
less by even the deepest philosophers ; that it to say, life. 

Our four rascals, then, had left Paris, each making for 
one of the four cardinal points. It was the lot of Procope 
to seek the north. Hence it is we have the pleasure of 
meeting him again, with pen in hand, in the grotto of Saint- 
Pol- sur-Ternoise, selected by his new companions on ac- 
count of his singular merit to draw up the important instru- 
ment we shall deal with in a moment. 

He who is holding a light for Procope is named Heinrich 
Scharfenstein. This unworthy follower of Luther, whom 
Charles V. 's ill-treatment of the Huguenots has driven into 
the ranks of the French army, along with his nephew, Franz 
Scharfenstein, at the present moment acting as sentinel out- 
side, is of gigantic stature. Indeed, uncle and nephew are 
both colossuses, and are animated by the same soul and 
moved by the same spirit. Many pretend that this single 
spirit is not enough for two bodies each six feet high ; but 
they are not of this opinion themselves, and are certain that 
things are quite right as they are. In ordinary life they 
rarely condescend to have recourse to any auxiliary what- 
ever, be it man, or tool, or machine, in order to attain the 
end before them. If this end is to move some enormous 
mass, instead of investigating, like our modern scientists, 
the nature of the machines that enabled Cleopatra to trans- 
port her ships from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, or 


of the engines by means of which Titus raised the gigantic 
blocks of the Flavian circus, they bravely encircle the ob- 
jects to be displaced with their four arms, knot a chain with 
their fingers of steel, incapable of being broken, make one 
simultaneous effort with the regularity that distinguishes 
all their movements, and the object leaves the place it has 
for the place it is intended to have. If the thing aimed at 
is to scale a wall or to reach a window, instead of embarrass- 
ing themselves, like their companions, with a heavy ladder, 
which hinders their march when the expedition succeeds, 
and must be abandoned when the enterprise fails, they go 
unencumbered to the scene of their operations. One of 
them it doesn't matter which braces himself against the 
wall; the other mounts on his shoulders, or, if necessary, 
stands on his hands raised above his head. With the help 
of his own arms, the second attains an altitude of eighteen 
or twenty feet an elevation almost always sufficient to gain 
the crest of a wall or the balcony of a window. In battle 
it is always the same system of physical association: they 
march side by side, keeping the same step ; but there is this 
difference while the one is striking, the other is plunder- 
ing. When the striker is tired of striking, he passes his 
sword, or battle-axe, or club to his companion, just saying 
these words, "Your turn now!" Then there is a change of 
characters: the striker plunders, and the plunderer strikes. 
Moreover, their mode of striking is very well known and 
highly appreciated; but, as we have said, in a general way, 
there is more esteem felt for their arms than for their brains, 
for their strength than for their understanding. And now 
you know why one of them has been stationed as a sentinel 
outside, and the other is acting as a candlestick within. 

As to the young man with black mustaches and curly 
hair, who is crisping his mustaches and combing his hair, 
he is named Yvonnet; Paris is his birthplace, and his heart 
is true to France. Besides the physical advantages we have 
mentioned, it ought to be added that he has the hands and 
feet of a woman. In peace he is always lamenting, like the 


Sybarite of old ; a crumpled roseleaf wounds him ; if march- 
ing is in order, he is exhausted; and he becomes dizzy if 
any one hints at climbing. When he is asked to think, 
he grows hysterical. He is as nervous and impressionable 
as a young girl, and this sensibility of his must be managed 
with the greatest care. In daylight he has a horror of 
spiders, and at night the sight of a toad will drive him out 
of his wits; while a mouse throws him into a fainting-fit. 
Darkness is equally repugnant to him, and only a great 
passion can enable him to get the better of this antipathy. 
However, we must render him this justice, he has always 
some great passion on hand; but he almost always arrives 
near his mistress, if the rendezvous is during the night, 
quite scared and trembling; and, in order to recover his 
composure, he requires as many reassuring words and at- 
tentions and caresses as were lavished by Hero on Leander 
when he entered her tower all dripping from the waters 
of the Dardanelles. It is true that as soon as he hears the 
trumpet, it is true that as soon as he smells the powder, it 
is true that as soon as he sees the standards pass, Yvonnet 
is no longer the same man: there is a complete transforma- 
tion in him ; there is no more languor, or dizziness, or hys- 
terics. The young girl becomes a ferocious soldier ; it is all 
cut and thrust then, and he is a regular lion, with claws 
of iron and teeth of steel. He who shrank from mounting 
a staircase to reach the bedchamber of a pretty woman, 
clambers up a ladder, hangs by a cord, clutches at a thread 
in order to be the first to reach the wall. The combat over, 
he washes, with the greatest care, his face and hands, 
changes his clothes and linen, then gradually becomes the 
man we are now looking at, curling his mustaches, combing 
his hair, and flipping, with the end of his fingers, the im- 
pertinent dust that has fastened on his garments. 

The man binding up the wound he has received in the 
biceps of his left arm, is called Malemort. He is a sombre 
and melancholy character, who has but one passion, but one 
love, but one joy war ! an unfortunate passion, a love badly 


rewarded, a joy short and fatal; for scarcely has he had a 
taste of carnage than, thanks to the blind and furious ardor 
with which he throws himself into the melee, and to the little 
care he takes when striking others not to be stricken him- 
self, he is sure to catch some terrible pike-thrust, or some 
awful present in the shape of a musket-ball; and then lie 
groans lamentably, not at the pain of the wound, but at the 
sorrow he experiences at seeing others keep up the dance 
without him. Fortunately, his flesh heals easily, and his 
bones knit together with a speed that is marvellous. At 
the present moment he can reckon up twenty- five wounds 
three more than Caesar! and he has a sound expectation, if 
the war continues, of receiving twenty- five new ones before 
that stroke which will put an end to his glorious and painful 

The lean personage praying in a corner, and telling his 
beads on his knees, is styled Lactance. He is an ardent 
Catholic, and is afflicted by the neighborhood of the two 
Scharfensteins; he is afraid their heresy may sully him. 
Obliged by his profession to fight against his brothers in 
Jesus Christ, and to kill as many of them as he can, there 
is no austerity he does not practice to counterbalance this 
stern necessity. The cloth robe he is wearing at present, 
like a kind of shirt, next the skin, is lined with a coat of 
mail; that is, except we regard the coat of mail as the stuff 
and the cloth as the lining. However this may be, in battle 
the coat of mail is on the outside, and so becomes a cuirass; 
when the battle is over, the coat of mail is on the inside, 
and becomes a hair-shirt. And, for that matter, it is surely 
a satisfaction to die by his hand; for the person killed by 
this holy man is sure, at least, of not wanting prayers. 
In the last engagement he slew two Spaniards and one 
Englishman; and, as he is in debt to them, particularly on 
account of the heresy of the Englishman, who cannot be 
satisfied by an ordinary De Profundis, he is -crowding Pater 
and Ave on Pater and Ave, leaving to his companions the 
care of the purely temporal concerns they are absorbed in 


at the present moment. When he has settled his account 
with heaven, he will descend to earth and sign the docu- 
ment, not without the erasure and addition of some clauses 
rendered necessary by his tardy intervention. 

The man resting his two hands on the table, and watch- 
ing with an attention that never wanders being, in this 
respect, the exact opposite of Lactance every penstroke of 
Procope, is called Maldent. He was born at Noyon, his 
father being of Le Mans and his mother of Picardy. 
He has been foolish and prodigal in his young days; and 
so, now that he has attained an age of sobriety and wis- 
dom, he will make up for lost time, and manage his affairs 
prudently. He has had a multitude of adventures, which 
he recounts with a simplicity that is not without its charm. 
But it has to be admitted that this simplicity disappears 
entirely when he and Procope debate some point of law. 
Then they realize the legend of the two Gaspards the one 
of Le Mans, the other Norman a legend of which they 
are perhaps the real heroes. However, Maldent gives and 
receives a sword- thrust bravely; and, although he has not 
the strength of Heinrich or Franz Scharfenstein, the courage 
of YVonnet, or the impetuosity of Malemort, he is at need 
a comrade that may be relied on, and will not desert a friend 
in trouble. 

The grinder sharpening the dagger, and trying the point 
of it on his nail, answers to the name of Pilletrousse. He 
is a thoroughbred freebooter. He has, turn about, served 
Spaniards and Englishmen. But the English are too great 
hands at a bargain, and the Spaniards are not the best of 
pay; so he has decided to work on his own account. Pille- 
trousse prowls about the highways ; during the night, espe- 
cially, the highways are full of pillagers of all nations. 
Pilletrousse pillages the pillagers; only he respects the 
French, who are almost his fellow-countrymen. Pille- 
trousse is a Proven9al; Pilletrousse is even good-hearted. 
If they are poor, he helps them along; if they are weak, 
he protects them; if they are sick, he nurses them; but, 


if lie meet a real fellow-countryman that is to say, a man 
born between Mount Yiso and the mouths of the Ehone, 
between the Comtat and Frejus the latter can dispose of 
Pilletrousse body and soul, money and blood ; trou de laire ! 
you would think Pilletrousse was the obliged party ! 

In fine, the ninth and last, he with his back to the wall, 
and his arms moving this way and .that, and his eyes raised 
to heaven, is named Fracasso. He is, as we have stated, a 
poet and a dreamer: very far from resembling Yvomiet, 
whom the darkness frightens, he loves those fine nights 
lighted by the stars alone; he loves the craggy banks of 
rivers; he loves the resounding shores of the sea. Unfor- 
tunately, as he is forced to follow the French army wherever 
it goes for, although an Italian, he has pledged his sword to 
the cause of Henry II. he is not free to wander according 
to his inclination; but what does it matter? To the poet 
everything serves for inspiration; to the dreamer every- 
thing supplies material for his dreams; only, distraction is 
a necessity for dreamers and poets, and distraction is ren- 
dered almost impossible in the career adopted by Fracasso. 
Thus often, in the middle of the fight, Frascasso stops sud- 
denly to listen to the notes of a clarion, to view a passing 
cloud, to admire some fine feat of arms performed before 
his eyes. Then the foeman in front of Fracasso profits by 
this distraction to deal some terrible blow that awakes the 
dreamer from his dreams, the poet from his ecstasy. But 
woe to that foeman if, despite the advantage given him, he 
has taken his measures badly, and has not at once stunned 
our Fracasso ! Fracasso is sure to exact vengeance, not for 
the blow received, but to punish the ill-bred person who 
has brought him down from the seventh heaven, where 
he was floating, upborne by the multi-colored pinions of 
imagination and fancy. 

And now that we have, after the manner of the blind 
old bard divine, made the catalogue of our adventurers 
some of whom cannot be quite unknown to such of our 
friends as have read "Ascanio" and "The Two Dianas" 


we must recount the cause of their meeting in this grotto, 
and the nature of the mysterious document they are so 
anxiously engaged on. 



ON the morning of this same day, the 5th of May, 
1555, a little troop of four men, who seemed to 
form a part of the garrison of Doullens, had left 
that city by slipping out of the Arras gate, as soon as this 
gate had been, we will not say open, but half -open. 

These four men, muffled up in long cloaks, equally ser- 
viceable for concealing their weapons and guarding them 
from the stiff morning breeze, followed, with all sorts of 
precautions, the banks of the little river Authie, until they 
reached its source. From thence they diverged in the direc- 
tion of the little chain of hills we have already so often men- 
tioned, continued their course, always with the same pre- 
cautions, along its western slope, and, after a two hours' 
journey, at last arrived at the outskirts of the forest of 
Saint- Pol- sur-Ternoise. There, one of them, who appeared 
more familiar than the others with the locality, took com- 
mand of the little band, and, guiding himself at one time 
by a tree more leafy or more devoid of branches than its 
fellows, at another, renewing his acquaintance with a rock 
or a sheet of water, he at length reached the grotto to which 
we ourselves conducted the reader in the beginning of the 
preceding chapter. 

Then he made a sign to his companions to wait a mo- 
ment, looked with a certain anxiety at some grass that 
seemed freshly trampled on, at some branches that seemed 
recently broken, and, throwing himself flat on his stomach, 
and crawling like a snake, disappeared within the cavern. 


His comrades, who stayed outside, heard the echo of his 
voice; but the tones denoted nothing alarming. He was 
interrogating the recesses of the grotto; and as these re- 
cesses answered him only by silence and solitude, as the 
triple echo of his voice was the only sound he heard in re- 
sponse to his triple call, he soon reappeared at the entrance 
and made a sign to his comrades to follow him. 

The three comrades did so, and, after some obstacles that 
were easily overcome, found themselves in the interior of 
the cave. 

"Ah!" murmured the one who had so skilfully con- 
ducted them, with a sigh of heartfelt satisfaction, "tandem 
ad terminum eamus /" 

"Which means?" asked one of the three adventurers, 
in a very pronounced Picard accent. 

"Which means, my dear Maldent, that we are approach- 
ing, or have approached, the term of our expedition. ' ' 

"Pardon, Monsieur Procope, " said another adventurer, 
in a strong Teutonic accent, "but I don't very well under- 
stand. Do you, Heinrich?" 

"No, I don't understand either." 

"And why the devil should you want to understand?" 
replied Procope for the reader has already guessed that the 
person addressed by Franz Scharfenstein was our legist 
Procope, or Brogobe, as we should have to write, if we pro- 
posed reproducing the impossible patois of our two Germans. 
"If I and Maldent understand, what else is required?" 

"Ya, " replied the two Germans, philosophically; "that's 
all that's required." 

"Well, then," said Procope, "let us sit down and eat a 
bite and drain a glass, to pass away the time; and while we 
are doing so, I'll explain everything." 

"Ya, ya!" said Franz Scharfenstein; "let us eat a bite 
and drain a glass, and while we are doing so he'll explain 
everything. ' ' 

The adventurers looked round them, and, thanks to the 
fact that their eyes were growing accustomed to the dark- 


ness, which, besides, was less great at the entrance to the 
grotto than in its depths, they perceived three stones, which 
they drew close together, in order to be able to talk more 

As a fourth one could not be found, Heinrich Scharfen- 
stein politely offered his to Procope, who was without a 
seat; but Procope thanked him with the same courtesy, 
stretched his cloak on the ground, and lay down on it. 

Then bread, cold meat, and wine were taken from the 
wallets carried by the two giants; the whole was placed in 
the centre of the semicircle, of which the three adventur- 
ers formed the arc, and Procope, lying at full length, the 
chord; after this they attacked their improvised breakfast 
with a fury that showed their morning promenade had not 
been without its effect on the appetite of the feasters. 

For nearly ten minutes nothing was heard but the sound 
of jaws grinding, with a regularity that would have done 
honor to machines, bread and meat, and even the very 
bones of the fowls borrowed from the neighboring farm- 
yards, and composing the most delicate part of the repast. 

Maldent was the first to find his tongue. 

' ' You were saying, my dear Procope, that, while eating 
a bite, you would explain your plan. The eating is more 
than half over at least, as far as I am concerned. Begin, 
then, your explanation. I am listening. ' ' 

"Ya!" said Franz, with his mouth full; "we are listen- 


"Well, it is thus Ecce res judicanda, as they say in the 
law courts. ' ' 

"Silence, you Scharfensteins!" exclaimed Maldent. - 

"Why, I haven't said one word," replied Franz. 

' ' Neither have I, ' ' continued Heinrich. 

"Ah! I thought I had heard" 

"And I, too," said Procope. 

"All right; some fox we have disturbed in his hole. 
Go on, Procope, go on!" 


"Well, then, you'll have it in a nutshell. About a 
quarter of a league from here there is a pretty little farm- 
house ' ' 

"Why, you promised us a chateau!" observed Maldent. 

"Goodness gracious! aren't you particular, now?" said 
Procope. ' 'Well, then, agreed, I apologize. About a quar- 
ter of a league from here there is a pretty little chateau " 

"Farmhouse or chateau doesn't matter," said Heinrich 
Scharf enstein ; "the thing that does, is the booty we are 
likely to get there!" 

"Bravo, Heinrich! that's the way to talk ! But this in- 
fernal scamp Maldent quibbles like an attorney. I will 
continue. ' ' 

"Ay, continue." 

"About a quarter of a league from here, then, there is 
a charming country-house, inhabitated only by the proprie- 
tors and one male and one female servant It is true the 
farmer and his workmen are living at some distance. ' ' 

"How many do they all number?" asked Heinrich. 

' ' Ten, or thereaboiit, ' ' replied Procope. 

"My nephew and myself will give a good account of the 
ten. Eh, nephew Franz ?" 

"Ya, mein uncle," replied Franz, with the laconism of a 

"Well," continued Procope, "the affair is settled; we'll 
spend the time till nightfall drinking and eating and telling 
stories ' ' 

"Drinking and eating, particularly," said Franz. 

"Then at nightfall," continued Procope, "we leave here 
just as noiselessly as we came; we gain the border of the 
wood, and creep along a sunken road, which I know well, 
up to the foot of the wall. There Franz will mount on his 
uncle's shoulders, or Heinrich on his nephew's; the one on 
the shoulders of the other will climb over the wall and open 
the gate. The gate open you understand, Maldent? the 
gate . open you understand, you, Scharf enstein ? the gate 
open, we enter. ' ' 

(2)_y l. 20 


"Not without us, I venture to hope," said a voice two 
steps behind the adventurers a voice so strongly accentu- 
ated that it not only made Procope and Maldent start, but 
even the two colossuses. 

"Treason!" cried Procope, bounding on his feet, and 
taking a step backward. 

"Treason!" shouted Maldent, trying to penetrate the 
darkness with his eyes, but not stirring from his place. 

"Treason!" cried the two Scharfensteins together, draw- 
ing their swords, and making a step forward. 

"Ah! a fight. You want a fight? Well, I'm not dis- 
agreeable. Here, Lactance! here, Fracasso! here, Male- 

A triple howl resounded from the back of the cavern, 
indicating that those appealed to were perfectly willing to 

"A moment! a moment, Pilletrousse!" said Procope, 
who had recognized the fourth adventurer by his voice; 
"what the devil! we are not Turks or gypsies, to cut one 
another's throats in the middle of the night without trying 
to come to an understanding first. Let us have a light, so 
that we can see each other's faces, and so know with whom 
we have to do. Then let us arrange matters, if possible ; if 
not, why, we can fight!" 

"Let us have the fighting first," said a gloomy voice, 
which issued from the depths of the grotto, but really 
seemed to issue from the depths of hell. 

' ' Silence, Malemort ! ' ' said Pilletrousse ; "in my opinion, 
Procope 's proposal is most acceptable. What do you say, 
Lactance? and you, Fracasso?" 

"I say," replied Lactance, "that if this proposal may 
save the life of one of our brothers, I accept it. ' ' 

' ' And yet there would have been something so poetic in 
fighting in a grotto, where the dead might also be entombed ! 
but as we must not sacrifice material interests even to 
poetry," said Fracasso, dolefully, "I subscribe to the opin- 
ion of Pilletrousse and Lactance. ' ' 


"But I insist we have a fight for it!"' growled Malemort. 

"Now look here, you attend to your arm, and don't 
bother us," said Pilletrousse ; "we are three against you, 
and Procope, who is a lawyer, will tell you that when three 
are against one the three always have the best of the 
argument. ' ' 

Malemort gave vent to a roar of anguish at seeing him- 
self miss such a splendid chance of getting a fresh wound; 
but he took the advice of Pilletrousse, and yielded to the 
judgment of the majority, although he by no means con- 
curred in its soundness. 

During this time Lactance and Maldent were each busy 
striking a light, and, as both bands were anxious to have a 
clear view of the situation, two pine torches, covered with 
tow and smeared with pitch, burst into flame at the same 
moment, and illuminated the cave and its tenants with their 
double glare. 

We have explored the cave ; we have made the acquaint- 
ance of its tenants. We have, therefore, no longer any 
need to describe the one or depict the other; all that re- 
mains for us is to describe and depict the fashion in which 
they were grouped. 

At the back of the grotto were stationed Pilletrousse, 
Malemort, Lactance, and Fracasso; in front the two Schar- 
fensteins, Maldent, and Procope. 

Pilletrousse had kept his position in the van; behind 
him Malemort was biting his fist with rage ; near Malemort 
was Lactance, with a torch in his hand, and trying to soothe 
his bellicose companion: Fracasso, on his knees, was, like 
Agis at the tomb of Leonidas, tying his sandal, in order, 
like that hero, to be prepared for war while invoking peace. 

The two Scharfensteins formed, as we have already 
stated, the vanguard on the opposite side; about a yard 
behind them was Maldent; and a yard behind him was 

The two torches lighted all the circular part of the 
grotto. A single recess near the door, containing quite a 


heap of fern, intended, no doubt, to become the bed of the 
future anchorite, who might fancy the cavern for a home, 
remained in shadow. 

A beam of light, gliding through the opening of the 
grotto, was making vain efforts to struggle with its palish 
tint against the almost blood- red glare cast by the two 

The whole formed a gloomy and warlike spectacle, and 
would have made an admirable scene in one of our modern 

Our adventurers, for the most part, knew one another 
already: they had already seen what they could severally 
do on the field of battle; but there they were struggling 
against the common enemy, not making preparations for 
mutual slaughter. 

Fearless as were their hearts, every man of them was not 
the less impressed by the seriousness of the situation. 

But the one who took the clearest and most impartial 
view of the momentous issue was decidedly our legist Pro- 

So he advanced toward his adversaries, without, how- 
ever, passing beyond the line the two Scharfensteins traced. 

"Gentlemen," he said, "we have been united in desiring 
to see one another, and our desire is fulfilled. It is some- 
thing gained: you see us, and we see you; therefore both 
sides know their chances. We are four against four, but 
with us are these two gentlemen just look at them" (and 
he pointed to Heinrich and Franz Scharfenstein) "which 
authorizes me to say almost that we are eight against four. ' ' 

At this imprudent gasconade, not only did one simul- 
taneous cry burst forth from the mouths of Pilletrousse, 
Malemort, Lactance, and Fracasso, but their swords again 
leaped from their scabbards. 

Procope saw that he had forgotten his usual tact, and 
had made a blunder. He tried to recover ground. 

" Gentlemen, " he said, "I do not claim that even with 
eight against four the victory would be certain when these 


four are named Pilletrousse, Malemort, Lactance, and Fra- 
casso. ' ' 

This sort of postscript seemed to smooth matters down 
a little, though Malemort continued to growl under his 

"Well, come to the point, then!" cried Pilletrousse. 

"Yes," answered Procope, "ad eventum festina. Well, 
then, gentlemen, I was about to say that, putting aside the 
uncertain chances of a combat, we ought to try to come to 
some arrangement. Now, we are engaged in a kind of law- 
suit, jacens sub judice Us est ; how shall we bring this lawsuit 
to a close ? In the first place, by a pure and simple state- 
ment of the case ; this will prove we have right on our side. 
Who got the idea yesterday of seizing the little farmhouse, 
or, as you prefer calling it, the little Chateau du Parcq ? I 
and those gentlemen. Who left Doullens to put the plan 
in execution ? I and those gentlemen. Who came to this 
grotto to arrange the proper course to be pursued during 
the approaching night? I and those gentlemen again. 
Finally, who has matured the plan, developed it in your 
presence, and so inspired you with the desire of becoming 
partners in our association ? I and those gentlemen, of 
course. Answer, Pilletrousse, and tell us whether the con- 
duct of an enterprise, without let or hindrance, does not 
belong to those who have had the priority both of the idea 
and its execution ? Dixi /" 

Pilletrousse burst out laughing; Fracasso shrugged his 
shoulders; Lactance shook his torch; and Malemort mur- 
mured, "A fight!" 

"What makes you laugh, Pilletrousse?" asked Procope, 
gravely, disdaining to address the others-, and determined 
to hold a parley only with the person who seemed for the 
moment to have become chief of the band. 

' ' What makes me laugh, my dear Procope, ' ' replied the 
adventurer to whom the question was addressed, "is the 
profound assurance with which you set forth your rights, 
especially as this very exposition of yours, if we were to 


admit the principles on which you base it, does not leave 
you and your companions a leg to stand on. Yes, I admit 
that the conduct of an enterprise belongs, without let or 
hindrance, to those who have the priority both of idea and 
execution ' ' 

"Ah!" interrupted Procope, triumphantly. 

4 ' Yes, but excuse me a moment ; the idea of seizing the 
Chateau du Parcq, as you prefer to call it, came to you yes- 
terday evening, did it not? Well, it came to us the day 
before yesterday. You left Doullens this morning to exe- 
cute the idea? We left Montreuil-sur-Mer yesterday even- 
ing with the same object. You entered the grotto an hour 
ago? We have been here for the last four hours. You 
have matured and developed the plan before us, but we had 
already matured and developed the plan long before you. 
You intend attacking the farmhouse this night ? We claim 
priority of idea and execution, and consequently the right 
to conduct the enterprise without let or hindrance. ' ' 

And, parodying the classic manner in which Procope 
had finished his discourse, "Dixi!" added Pilletrousse, 
with not less coolness and emphasis than the legist. 

"But," asked Procope, a little disturbed by the argu- 
ment of Pilletrousse, "how do I know you are speaking the 

"My word as a gentleman!" said Pilletrousse. 

"I would rather prefer another security." 

"On the faith of a freebooter, then!" 

"Hem!" muttered Procope, imprudently. 

The temper of the community was growing warm; the 
doubt expressed by Procope as to the value of Pilletrousse 's 
word exasperated his followers. 

"Well, then, a fight be it!" cried Fracasso and Lactance 

"Yes, a fight! a fight! a fight!" howled Malemort. 

"Fight away, then ! since you will have it, " said Procope. 

* ' A fight by all means ! since there is no other way out 
of it, ' ' said Maldent. 


" A fight!" repeated Franz and Heinrich Scharfenstein, 
drawing their swords. 

And then, as everybody appeared agreed, there was a 
general drawing of swords or daggers, or else a seizure of 
axe or club ; each looked his enemy square in the face, and 
with curses on the lips, fury in the eyes, and death in the 
hands, prepared to rush on him. 

Suddenly the pile of fern heaped up in the recess near 
the entrance of the grotto was seen to move ; a young man 
elegantly clad darted out, and with a bound beyond the 
circle of darkness, appeared in the circle of illumination, 
extending his arms like Hersilia in the picture of the 
"Sabines, " and crying 

"Down with your arms, comrades! I undertake to ar- 
range this matter to the general satisfaction. ' ' 

All eyes were turned on the new personage who entered 
on the scene in so abrupt and unexpected a fashion, and all 
cried in unison 


"But where the devil have you come from?" asked 
Pilletrousse and Procope at the same time. 

"You are about to learn, " said Yvonnet; "but first re- 
turn swords and daggers to the scabbards. The sight of all 
these naked blades sets every one of my nerves quivering 

All the adventurers obeyed except Malemort. 

"Come, come, comrade," said Yvonnet, addressing him 
directly, "what is the meaning of that?" 

"Ah!" sighed Malemort, as if his heart were broken, 
"are we never then to .have a little quiet cutting and 

And he sheathed his sword with a gesture full of vexa- 
tion and disappointment. 




YVONNET cast a look around him, and, recognizing 
that, if anger was not entirely banished from the 
hearts of our adventurers, at least swords and dag- 
gers were returned to their scabbards, he turned alternately 
to Pilletrousse and Procope, who, as they remind him, have 
just had the honor of putting him the same question. 

"Where have I come from?" he repeated. il Pardieuf 
a nice question that ! I have come from that heap of fern, 
under which I threw myself when I saw Pilletrousse, Lac- 
tance, Malemort, and Fracasso enter, and from which I 
thought it time to get out when I saw them followed by 
Procope, Maldent, and the two Scharf ensteins. ' ' 

"But what were you doing in the grotto at such an hour 
of the 'night ? for when we came here it was yet hardly 

"Ah!" replied Yvonnet, "that's my secret, which I will 
tell you immediately, if you are very good; but, first, let 
us come to the main point. ' ' 

Then, addressing Pilletrousse 

"So, then, my dear Pilletrousse," said he, "it was your 
intention to pay a little visit to the Chateau du Parcq, as 
you are pleased to call it?" 

"Yes," said Pilletrousse. 

"And yours, too?" asked Yvonnet of Procope. 

' ' And ours, too, ' ' replied Procope. 

"And you were about fighting to settle the priority of 
your rights?" 

"We were about fighting," replied Pilletrousse and 
Procope together. 


"Shame!" exclaimed Yvonnet; "comrades, Frenchmen, 
or, at least, serving the cause of France!" 

"Faith, we couldn't help it, as these gentlemen refused 
to renounce their claim, ' ' said Procope. 

"We could not act otherwise, since these gentlemen 
refused to give way," said Pilletrousse. 

"We couldn't help it! we could not act otherwise!" re- 
peated Yvonnet, mimicking the voice of the two disputants. 
"You could not help massacring each other; you could not 
act otherwise than cutting each other's throats, eh ? And 
you were there, Lactance, and you saw the preparations 
for the slaughter, and your Christian soul did not utter a 
groan ?" 

"Yes, it did, and a heartfelt groan at that!" 

"And that is all wherewith your holy religion inspires 
you a groan ?" 

1 ' After the fight, ' ' returned Lactance, a little humiliated 
by the reproaches of Yvonnet, the justice of which he felt 
"after the fight I would have prayed for the dead." 

"What a benevolent creature!" 

"What would you have had me do, pray, my dear Mon- 
sieur Yvonnet ?' ' 

"Ah, pardieu! I would have had you do what I am 
doing I who am not a devotee, nor a saint, nor a swallower 
of Pater Nosters like you. What would I have had you do ? 
Throw yourself between those swords and blades, inter gla- 
dios et enses, to speak after the manner of our legist Procope, 
and say to your misguided brethren, with that air of com- 
punction which so well becomes you, the words I am about 
to say to them now : ' Comrades, when there is enough for 
four, there is enough for eight; if the first job does not 
bring in all we expected, we shall soon have another on 
hand. Men are born to aid one another on the rough path- 
ways of life, not to encumber with stumbling-blocks the 
roads that are hard enough to make one's way over as it is. 
Instead of dividing, let us unite. What four cannot at- 
tempt without enormous risks, eight can achieve without 


danger. Let us keep our hatreds, our daggers and swords, 
for our enemies, and for ourselves let kindly words and 
courteous deeds be our only weapons. God, who protects 
France when He has nothing more pressing to occupy His 
time, will smile on our fraternal unity and give it a fitting 
reward!' This, my dear Lactance, is what you ought to 
have said and what you have not said. ' ' 

" It is true, " replied Lactance, smiting his breast; "mea 
culpa ! mea culpa f mea maxima culpa /" 

And, extinguishing the torch, he fell on his knees and 
began to pray with fervor. 

"Well, then, I have said it in your place," continued 
Yvonnet, "and I add, The divine reward which Lactance 
would have promised, I bring, comrades. ' ' 

"You, Yvonnet?" said Procope, with an air of doubt. 

"Yes, I, who had the same desire as you, and even 
before you." 

"What!" said Pilletrousse, "you, too, had the idea of 
entering the chateau we all have our eyes on?" 

"Not only had I the idea," returned Yvonnet; "but, 
more than that, I have begun to execute it. ' ' 

"Impossible!" exclaimed all his hearers, lending him, 
though, a closer attention than ever. 

"Yes, I have a friend in the place a charming little 
soubrette, named Gertrude," he added, twirling his mus- 
tache, "who for my sake is willing to deny father, mother, 
and mistress ; she is mine, body and soul. ' ' 

Lactance heaved a sigh. 

"And you say you have been in the chateau ?" 

"I left it this night; but you know how n.uch I dread a 
walk in the night, particularly alone. Bather than spend 
three leagues in reaching Doullens, or six leagues in reach- 
ing Abbeville or Montreuil-sur-Mer, I spent a quarter of a 
league in making my way to this grotto, with which I was 
well acquainted, as it was the scene of my first assignation 
with my divinity. I made acquaintance with the bed of fern, 
and had fallen asleep there, and had intended to acquaint 


the first of you I met with my plan, when Pilletrousse ar- 
rived with his band, and then Procope with his. Each 
came here with the same object. And this would have 
undoubtedly led to a tragedy, did I not judge it time to 
interfere, as I have interfered. Now I have to say to you: 
Instead of fighting, become partners. Why not enter the 
place by craft instead of by violence? Would you not 
rather have the doors opened for you than broken in ? In- 
stead of having to rummage for gold and jewelry, would 
you not prefer to have them put into your hands ? Then, 
shake ! I'm your man ! And to show how disinterested I 
am, I say, let us share. In spite of the service I am render- 
ing you, I only ask an equal share. If any one has any- 
thing to say against this, let him say it; I am willing to 

A thrill of admiration ran through the assembly. Lac- 
tan ce forgot to pray for a while, and ran to kiss the hem of 
his jerkin. Pilletrousse, Maldent and Fracasso grasped his 
hand. The two Scharfensteins almost choked him with 
their embraces. Malemort alone growled in his corner: 

"There won't be a single thrust or parry. Ah, dame/ 11 

"Well, now," -said Yvonnet, who had been for a long 
time looking forward to just such an association, and who, 
seeing the opportunity within his reach, had no notion to 
let it slip "well, now, don't let us lose a moment! Here 
we are, nine blades who fear neither Grod nor the devil ' ' 

' ' Oh, excuse me, ' ' interrupted Lactance ; "we fear 

"Oh, yes, of course! It's a way we have of speaking, 
Lactance; I meant to say, Here we are, nine blades come 
hither by chance 

"By Providence, Yvonnet!" interrupted Lactance, 

"By Providence, granted. By good luck, we have 
among us a legist Procope, and, by more good luck, he 
happens to have a pen and ink at his girdle, and, I am quite 
sure, also a stamp of our good King Henry II. " 


"Yes, faith, I have one," replied Procope; "and, as 
Yvonnet says, it's luck." 

"Then let us come to the point. Draw up a deed of 
partnership, while one of us, stationed in the forest, and at 
the end of the path that leads to the grotto, may see that we 
are not disturbed. ' ' 

"I will be the sentinel," said Malemort. "I'll see to it 
that if Englishmen, Spaniards, or Germans are prowling 
about the forest, they'll soon be dead men!" 

"But, my dear Malemort," said Yvonnet, "that's the 
very thing we don't want. In our present position that is 
to say, within two hundred yards of the camp of the Em- 
peror Charles V., with a man whose ear is so finely and 
accurately trained as that of Monseigneur Emmanuel Phili- 
bert of Savoy we must not kill all that we should like 
to kill, especially as we can't be sure always of killing 
the right person. We perhaps only wound him; and the 
wounded scream like the eagles. Everybody hurries to 
the rescue of the wounded; and if this wood is once occu- 
pied, God only knows what will become of us! No, my 
dear Malemort, you must stay here, and one of the two 
Scharfensteins will mount guard. Both -are Germans. If 
one of our sentinels is discovered, he can say he is a lans- 
quenet of the Duke of Aremberg or a trooper of Count 
Wai deck." 

"Better of Count Waldeck, " said Heinrich Scharf en- 

"This colossus is full of intelligence," said Yvonnet. 
"Yes, my worthy fellow. Better of Count Waldeck, be- 
cause Count Waldeck is a freebooter, like the rest of us. 
That's what you mean, is it not?" 

"Ya; I mean just that." 

"And is there anything wonderful in a freebooter like 
him lurking in this wood?" 

' ' Nein ; nothing wonderful at all. ' ' 

' ' The only thing of importance is, that whichever of the 
Scharfensteins acts as sentinel does not fall into the hands 


of the Duke of Savoy ; for lie has little respect for highway- 
men, and gives short shrift to marauders!" 

"Yes," said Heinrich; "he hanged two soldiers yester- 

' "Three!" said Franz. 

"Well, which of you is willing to act as sentry ?" 

"I," replied uncle and nephew together. 

"My friends," replied Yvonnet, "such devotion is appre- 
ciated by your comrades. But only one sentinel is needed. 
Draw lots, then ; a post of honor remains for him who has 
to remain here. ' ' 

The two Scharfensteins consulted together for a moment. 

"Franz has good eyes and good ears; he will be senti- 
nel," said Heinrich. 

' ' Grood ! let Franz go to his post, then. ' ' 

Franz left the grotto, with his ordinary tranquillity. 

4 ' You understand, Franz ? If you are caught by others, 
it doesn't matter; but if you are taken by the Duke of 
Savoy, you are hanged!" 

"No one shall catch me; make your mind easy," said 
Franz, tranquilly. 

And he left the grotto to take the post assigned him. 

"And the post of honor," asked Heinrich "where 
is it?" 

Yvonnet took the torch from the hands of Maldent and 
presented it to Heinrich. 

"There you are!" he said; "stand quiet, and don't stir 
for your life. ' ' 

"I won't stir, you may be sure," replied Heinrich. 

Procope sat down, took m his paper from his pocket, and 
his pen and ink-bottle from his belt. 

We have seen him at work at the very time we entered 
the grotto of Saint- Pol- sur-Ternoise a spot usually so 
lonely, but now, by a fortuitous concurrence of circum- 
stances, so strangely tenanted to-day. 

We trust we have made our readers come to the conclu- 
sion that it was not a work very easily managed that Pro- 


cope was devoting himself to between eleven in the morning 
and three in the afternoon of this 5th of May, 1555. 

And so, just as in a bill discussed in our modern par- 
liaments, every one brought forward his amendments and 
clauses, and so forth. 

The said amendments and clauses were passed by a ma- 
jority of votes, and, it must be said to the honor of our free- 
booters, with a justice, decorum, and impartiality not often 
found in more pretentious assemblies. 

There are really wrong-headed people who maintain, 
shameless calumniators that they are, that a code of law 
drawn up by robbers is likely to be more thorough and 
equitable than a code drawn up by honest men. 

We pity the blindness of such people, just as we pity the 
blindness of Calvinists and Lutherans for their errors, and 
we pray to Grod to pardon both. 

Finally, at the very moment when the watch of Yvonnet 
marked a quarter- past three watches were rare at the 
period, but our dandy adventurer had one finally, we re- 
peat, at a quarter-past three, Procope raised his head, took 
his pen in his hand, and produced his paper. Thereat, feel- 
ing an emotion of joy, he could not help exclaiming 

"Ah! it's done, and well done Exegi monumentum /" 

At this announcement, Heinrich Scharfenstein, who had 
been holding the torch for three hours and twenty minutes, 
stretched his arm, as he felt rather tired; Yvonnet inter- 
rupted his oration; Malemort completed the bandaging of 
his wound; Lactance hurried through his last Ave\ Mai- 
dent drew himself up to his full height, his hands still 
resting on the table; Pilletrousse sheathed his dagger, now 
sharpened to his satisfaction ; and Fracasso awoke from his 
poetic revery, satisfied with having captured the rhymes he 
had been in search of for a sonnet during the past month. 

All approached the table, with the exception of Franz, 
who, leaving to his uncle the discussion of their common 
interests, had placed himself, or rather lain down, within 
twenty yards of the entrance to the grotto, with the deter- 


mined resolution, not only of watching over his companions, 
but of keeping out of the way of that rough justiciary, Em- 
manuel Philibert of Savoy. 

' ' Gentlemen, ' ' said Procope, glancing at the members of 
the circle that had formed around him with as much regu- 
larity as the officer is accustomed to behold when he calls 
his soldiers to order "gentlemen, are we all here?" 

' l Yes, ' ' replied the adventurers in chorus. 

"Then every one is ready to hear the document which 
we ha ye. drawn up in eighteen articles, severally and con- 
jointly, and which is hereby constituted a deed of partner- 
ship thereunto founded and established." 

The reply was affirmative and unanimous, Heinrich 
Scharfenstein, as a matter of course, answering for himself 
and his nephew. 

' ' Then listen, ' ' said Procope. 

And, after coughing and spitting, he began : 

"We, the undersigned " 

"Excuse me," interrupted Lactance; "1 do not know 
how to sign. ' ' 

"Parbkuf" said Procope; "as if it mattered! you will 
make a cross. ' ' 

"Ah!" murmured Lactance, "that will make the pledge 
only the more sacred. Continue, my brother. ' ' 

Procope resumed 

"We, the undersigned: Jean Chrysostome Procope " 

"You haven't a low opinion of yourself," said Yvonnet; 
"you don't object to lead oft'." 

"Somebody had to be first," returned Procope, inno- 

"Good!" said Maldent; "continue." 

Procope continued 

"Jean Chrysostome Procope, attorney -at- law, admitted 
to practice at the bar of Caen, as also before the court of 
Rouen, Cherbourg, Yalognes " 

" Oorbleu ! I am no longer surprised at the business tak- 
ing up three hours and a half, if you have given every one 


all his titles and degrees. What does surprise me is that 
you should have got to the end of it at last. ' ' 

"No," said Procope; "I have comprised you all under 
the same title. But, as the person responsible for the in- 
strument, I judged it not only proper, but absolutely neces- 
sary to give a full exposition of all my titles, degrees, and 
qualities. ' ' 

"Oh, I see!" said Pilletrousse. 

"Ah! get on, will you!" growled Malemort. "We shall 
never get to the end if every fellow interrupts at each word. 
I want to come to the fighting that's what I want!" 

"Faith," said Procope, "I'm not the one that interrupts, 
as far as I can see. ' ' 

And he continued 

"Jean Chrysostome Procope, etc., Honore Joseph Mai- 
dent, Victor Felix Yvonnet, Cyrille Nepomucene Lactance, 
Cesar Hanibal Malemort, Martin Pilletrousse, Vittorio Al- 
bani Fracasso, and Heinrich and Franz Scharfenstein all 
captains in the service of King Henry II. ' 

A flattering murmur interrupted Procope, and no one 
any longer dreamed of interfering with the titles and quali- 
ties he had given himself, for each was busy in arranging on 
his person a scarf, a napkin, a handkerchief, any rag that 
could be made to look like a symbol of the rank in the 
French service he had just received. 

Procope gave time for the murmurs of applause to cease, 
and continued 

' ' Have hereunto set forth, resolved, and ' ' 

"Excuse me," said Maldent; "but the deed is null." 

"Null! How?" said Procope. 

"You forgot only one thing in your deed." 


"The date." 

"The date is at the end." 

"Oh," said Maldent, "that is another thing; still, it 
would have been better if you had put it at the begin- 


"The beginning or the end's all one," said Procope. 
"The Institutes of Justinian say, positively: Omne actum 
quo tempore scriptum sit, indicate; sen initio sen fine ut paci- 
scentibus libuerit : which means: 'Every deed must bear its 
proper date; but the contracting parties are at liberty to 
place the date at the beginning or at the end of the said 
deed.' ' 

"What hideous gibberish your law Latin is!" said Fra- 
casso, "and how far removed from the language of Virgil 
and Horace!" 

And he began to scan lovingly those verses from the 
third Eclogue of Virgil 

"Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella, 
Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri." 

"Silence, Fracasso!" said Procope. 

"Oh, silence as much as you like," replied Fracasso. 
"But it is not the less true that, great a man as was Jus- 
tinian the First, I prefer Homer the Second to him, and I 
would rather have made the Bucolics, the Eclogues, or even 
the ^Eneid, than the Digest, Pandects, Institutes, and the 
whole Corpus juris civilis." 

There was undoubtedly going to be a dispute between 
Fracasso and Procope on this important point and only 
God knows where it would have led the disputants ! when 
a kind of stifled cry was heard outside the grotto, and the 
attention of the adventurers was drawn to the direction 
whence it came. 

Soon it was seen that the light of day was intercepted by 
some opaque body which interposed between the artificial 
and ephemeral glow of the torches and the divine and inex- 
tinguishable ilium inati'on of the sun. At last, a being whose 
species it was impossible to discern, so indefinite were its 
lines in the demi- obscurity in which it moved, appeared, 
and advanced into the centre of the circle, all making way 
before it. 

Then only, by the glare of the torch which lighted the 


distorted group, was Franz Scharfenstein recognized, hold- 
ing a woman in his arms, with his huge hand pressed against 
her mouth, and doing duty as a sort of gag. 

Each waited for the explanation of this new incident. 

"Comrades," said the giant, "here is a little woman I 
found prowling about the grotto; I caught her, and have 
brought her to you. What is to be done with her ?" 

"PardieuJ" said Pilletrousse, "release her. She won't 
eat the whole nine of us, perhaps!" 

"Oh! I'm not afraid of her eating the whole nine of us 
either," said Franz, with his enormous laugh. "Wouldn't 
I like to have the eating of her alone by myself, though ! 
Ja wohl!" 

And, as Pilletrousse had invited him to do, he set her 
in the middle of the circle, on her two feet, and withdrew 
to the rear quickly. 

The woman, who was young and pretty, and seemed, by 
her costume, to be a respectable cook in some well-to-do 
family, gave a frightened glance around her, and then at 
each individual, as if to take stock of the company in the 
centre of which she stood, and which her eyes told her, at 
the first look, seemed rather mixed. 

But her glance did not take in the whole circle, either; 
it stopped at the youngest and most elegant of the adven- 

"Oh, Monsieur Yvonnet, " she cried, "in the name of 
Heaven, protect, defend me!" And, trembling, she ran 
and threw her arms round the neck of the young man. 

"Why!" said Yvonnet, "it is Mademoiselle Gertrude!" 

And, pressing the young girl against his breast, to reas- 
sure her, he said, "Pardieu! gentlemen, we shall now have 
fresh news from the Chateau du Parcq; for this fair lady 
has just come from it. ' ' 

Now, as any news promised by Yvonnet which should 
come through the mouth of Mademoiselle Gertrude inter- 
ested every one of them to the extremest degree, our adven- 
turers at once abandoned, for the time, their deed of part- 


nership, and thronged round the two young persons, waiting 
impatiently until the emotion to which Mademoiselle Ger- 
trude was a prey permitted her to speak. 


THERE was silence still for a few moments, after which 
Mademoiselle Grertrude, evidently reassured by the 
consoling words which Yvonnet whispered into her 
ear, at last began her story. 

But as this story, at one time interrupted by her own 
excitement, at another by the interrogatories put to her by 
the adventurers, might not have, for our readers, the limpid 
clearness desirable, we shall, with their kind permission, 
substitute our prose for that of the fair narrator, and, grasp- 
ing the entire situation, relate, as plainly as we can, the 
tragic event that forced the young girl to quit the Chateau 
du Parcq, and led her into the midst of the adventurers. 

Two hours after the departure of Yvonnet, at the mo- 
ment when Mademoiselle Grertrude, doubtless a little fatigued 
after her nocturnal conversation with the handsome Pari- 
sian, decided at last to leave her bed and go down to her 
mistress, who was for the third time calling her, a young 
boy named Philippin, the son of the farmer, about sixteen 
years old, entered the chamber of his mistress, quite scared, 
and announced that a troop of forty or fifty men, belonging, 
he thought from their black and yellow scarfs, to the army 
of the Emperor Charles V. , was riding toward the chateau, 
after making his father, who happened to be working in the 
fields, prisoner. 

Philippin, who was working himself some hundred yards 
from the farmer, had seen the capture, and guessed by the 
gestures of the soldiers and the prisoner that they were 
speaking of the chateau. Then he had crept along until he 


came to a path, which he saw would hide him from the view 
of the troopers, and ran like the wind to give his mistress 
notice of what was passing, and time to adopt the proper 

The chatelaine rose, went to the window, and, in fact, 
saw that the troop was hardly a hundred yards from the 
chateau. It consisted of about fifty men, as Philippin had 
said, and appeared to be commanded by three leaders. The 
farmer was walking beside one of them, with his hands tied 
behind his back. The officer near whom he walked held 
the end of the cord, undoubtedly with the object of prevent- 
ing the farmer from attempting to escape, or, if he should 
attempt, bringing him to a halt on the moment. 

This sight was anything but reassuring. However, as 
the horsemen, who were hastening to visit the chateau, 
wore, as we have said, the scarf of the Empire; as the three 
leaders who rode at their head had crowns on the crests of 
their helmets and escutcheons on the breastplates of their 
cuirasses ; as the orders of Duke Emmanuel Philibert with 
regard to pillaging and marauding were positive ; as, in fine, 
there was no way of escape, especially for a woman the 
chatelaine resolved to receive the arrivals in the best man- 
ner possible. Consequently, she left her chamber, and, 
descending the staircase, went, as a mark of honor to her 
visitors, to receive them on the first step of the perron. 

As to Mademoiselle Gertrude, her terror at the sight of 
these men was so great that, instead of following her mis- 
tress, as was perhaps her duty, she threw herself on Philip- 
pin, begging him to point out some retreat where she could 
hide during the stay of the soldiers in the chateau, and 
where he, Philippin, could come from time to time, and 
give her intelligence as to how the affairs of her mistress 
were going on; for they certainly appeared to be in a bad 
way at present. 

Although Mademoiselle Gertrude had been a little rough 
with Philippin for some time, and the latter, who -had vainly 
sought for the cause of the change, had promised to himself 


that, should she ever need his services, he would be in no 
hurry to offer them, yet was Mademoiselle Gertrude so 
beautiful in her terror, so seductive in her attitude of en- 
treaty, that Philippin allowed himself to relent, and led 
Mademoiselle Gertrude by the private staircase into the 
yard, and from the yard into the garden, and there hid her 
in a corner of the cistern, where his father stored his gar- 
dening tools usually. 

It was not likely that soldiers whose evident intention it 
was to devote their attention to the pantries and cellars of 
the chateau would search for her in a place where, as Philip- 
pin wittily said, there was nothing to drink but water. 

Mademoiselle Gertrude would have liked to keep Philip- 
pin, and Philippin, perhaps, on his side, would have asked 
nothing better than to remain with Mademoiselle Gertrude ; 
but the beautiful child was even more curious than timid, 
so that her desire for news got the better of her dread of 
remaining alone. 

For more security, moreover, Philippin put the key of 
the cistern in his pocket, which at first disturbed Mademoi- 
selle Gertrude somewhat, but, after due reflection, seemed, 
on the contrary, rather reassuring. 

Mademoiselle Gertrude held her breath and listened with 
both her ears; she heard at first a great noise of arms and 
horses, shouting and neighing; but, as Philippin had fore- 
seen, the shouting and neighing seemed to be concentrated 
in the chateau and its courts. 

The prisoner was trembling with impatience and burning 
with curiosity. She had been at the door more than once, 
and tried to open it. If she had succeeded, she would very 
certainly, although at the risk of encountering some un- 
pleasant mishap in the enterprise, have tried to hear what 
was saying or see what was doing by listening at the doors 
and looking above the walls. 

At last a step, as light as that of nocturnal animals prow- 
ling around poultry-yards and sheep-folds, drew near the 
cistern ; a key was introduced cautiously, turned gently in 


the lock, and the door, slowly opened, was quickly shut 
after giving entrance to Master Philippin. 

"Well?" asked Gertrude, before even the door was 

"Well, Mademoiselle Gertrude," said Philippin, "it 
seems they are, in fact, gentlemen, just as Madame la 
JBaronne had surmised. But what gentlemen, good God! 
If you heard them curse and swear you would take them for 
genuine pagans!" 

"Great heavens! what is that you're telling me, Mon- 
sieur Philippin?" -exclaimed the young girl, no,w quite 

"The truth, mademoiselle; nothing but God's pure 
truth! When the chaplain reprimanded them, they an- 
swered that if he did not keep a quiet tongue in his mouth 
they would make him sing Mass with his feet up and his 
head down, and the rope of the belfry about his neck ; while 
their chaplain, a regular heathen with beard and mustaches, 
would read a service in which there were neither responses 
nor questions. ' ' 

u But, then," said Mademoiselle Gertrude, "they are not 
real gentlemen, are they ?" 

"Pardieuf they are; and among the best in Germany, 
even! They were not ashamed to tell their names; and 
that, you must acknowledge, was no small bravado, after 
the way they conducted themselves. The oldest, a man of 
fifty, or thereabout, is named Count Waldeck, and com- 
mands four thousand reiters in the army of his Majesty 
Charles Y. The two others, who may be from twenty-four 
to twenty -five, and from nineteen to twenty, are his legiti- 
mate son and his bastard. Only, from what I have seen 
and the thing is not unusual he appears to be fonder of 
the bastard than of the lawful heir. The legitimate son is 
a handsome young man, with pale complexion, large brown 
eyes, black hair and mustaches, and I have a fancy he might 
be brought to listen to reason. The same can't be said of 
the bastard, who is red- headed, and has the eyes of an owl. 


Oh, mademoiselle, he's a regular devil, that fellow! God 
preserve you from meeting him! The way he looked at 
Madame la Baronne! It makes one shiver to think of it!" 

"You don't say so?" said Mademoiselle Gertrude, who 
was evidently curious to know what kind of a look is that 
which makes one shiver. 

' ' Oh, good God, yes, ' ' said Philippin, by way of perora- 
tion ; ' ' and it was thus I left them Now I am going back 
for further news, and as soon as I have any, I'll let you 
know. ' ' 

"Yes, yes," said Gertrude, "go! and return soon; but 
take care that nothing happens to you. ' ' 

"Oh, don't be afraid, mademoiselle," replied Philippin; 
"I never show myself except with a bottle in each hand; 
and, as I know where to find the best wine, the rascals have 
the greatest respect for me. ' ' 

Philippin left, and shut up Mademoiselle Gertrude, who 
at once began to think within herself what kind of looks 
those are that make one shiver. She had not yet solved the 
difficulty, although she spent nearly an hour in trying, when 
the key turned anew in the lock, and the messenger reap- 

It was not that of the ark, and he was far from holding 
an olive branch in his hand. Count Waldeck had, by 
threats and even ill-treatment, forced the baroness to sur- 
render her jewels, plate, and all the gold she had in the 
chateau. But this had not satisfied them; and, after the 
first ransom had been paid, the poor woman, at the very 
moment she believed herself about to be rid of the noble 
bandits who had asked her hospitality, had been, on the 
contrary, seized, garroted, and locked up in her chamber, 
with the assurance that if in two hours she did not find two 
hundred rose nobles in her own purse or in that of her 
friends, the chateau would be set on fire. 

Mademoiselle Gertrude bewailed, according to all the 
rules of propriety, the fate of her mistress ; but, as she had 
not two hundred crowns to lend her, and thus extricate her 


from her embarrassment, she tried to think of something 
else, and asked Philippin what that infamous bastard of 
Waldeck, of the red hair and terrible eyes, was doing ? 

Philippin replied that the bastard of Waldeck was doing 
his best to get drunk an occupation in which he was power- 
fully seconded by his father. The Vicomte Waldeck alone 
was preserving, as far as possible, his coolness in the midst 
of the pillage and the orgies. 

Mademoiselle Gertrude had a furious craving to form 
some idea of what these orgies might be, and to see them 
with her own eyes. As to pillage, she knew that already, 
having been present at the sack of Therouanne, but of what 
are called orgies she had no notion. 

Philippin explained that it was a meeting of men who 
drank, and ate, and indulged in loose conversation, and 
committed every sort of outrage on any woman that fell into 
their hands. 

The curiosity of Mademoiselle Gertrude was immensely 
increased by this picture, which would have made a heart 
less courageous than hers shudder. She therefore begged 
Philippin to let her out, if it were only for ten minutes; but 
he repeated to her so often and so seriously that by leaving 
she ran a risk of her life, that she decided to remain in her 
hiding-place, and await the third return of Philippin, before 
settling, finally, on what she was to do. 

This she had done before the return of Philippin. It 
was, no matter what might happen, to force a passage out, 
gain the chateau, slip along the secret corridors and private 
staircases, and see with her own eyes what was passing 
any narrative, however eloquent, being always inferior to 
the scene it attempts to paint. 

As soon as she heard, for the third time, the key turn in 
the lock, she prepared to dart from the cistern, whether 
Philippin liked it or not; but when she saw his face, she 
recoiled in terror. 

Philippin was as pale as a corpse; his lips stammered 
forth disconnected words, and his eyes had the haggard ex- 


pression of a man who has just witnessed some awful and 
sombre event. 

Gertrude wished to question him, but at the contact of 
this unknown terror she felt frozen; the paleness of his 
cheeks passed into her own, and, face to face with this grew- 
some dumbness, she became dumb herself. 

The young man, without saying anything, but with that 
strength given by fright which is irresistible, seized her by 
the wrist and dragged her toward the little gate of the gar- 
den opening on the plain, stammering only these words 

"Dead assassinated stabbed !" 

Gertrude made no resistance; Philippin let her go a mo- 
ment to shut the gate behind them a useless precaution, 
for no one dreamed of pursuing them. 

But the shock received by Philippin had been so rough 
that the momentum impressed on him could not cease until 
his strength failed him. At the end of five hundred yards 
he fell, breathless, murmuring, in a hoarse voice, like that 
of a man in the last agony, those frightful words, the only 
ones he could utter 

' ' Dead assassinated stabbed !" 

Then Gertrude cast her eyes around her: she was not 
more than two hundred yards from the border of the forest ; 
she knew the forest, she knew the grotto ; it was doubly a 
refuge; besides, in the grotto she might perhaps find 

She was quite remorseful at the notion of leaving poor 
Philippin unconscious on the edge of a ditch; but she per- 
ceived four or five horsemen coming in her direction. Per- 
haps these men might be some of Count Waldeck's reiters; 
she had not a second to lose if she wanted to escape. She 
darted toward the forest, and, without looking behind her, 
ran, frantic and dishevelled, until she crossed the border of 
the wood. Then only did she stop, and, leaning against a 
tree so as not to fall, she cast her eyes over the plain. 

The horsemen reached the place where she had left 
Philippin unconscious. They raised him up; but, seeing 

(3)_Vol. 20 


that lie could not move a step, one of them laid him across 
the pommel of his saddle, and, followed by his comrades, 
transported him to the camp. 

The intentions of these men, however, seemed to be 
good; and Gertrude began to think that the best thing for 
Philippin was to fall into such humane hands. 

Then, no longer anxious for the fate of her companion, 
and having regained her breath in this halt, Gertrude began 
again to run in the direction, or rather toward the point she 
believed in the direction, of the grotto. She naturally went 
astray ; and it was only at the end of an hour that she found 
herself, by accident, chance, or instinct, in the neighbor- 
hood of the grotto, and within reach of Franz Scharfenstein. 

It is easy to guess the rest: Franz stretched out one hand 
and encircled the waist of Gertrude, placed the other on her 
mouth, and carried her as if she was a feather, then set 
her in the midst of the adventurers in an altogether scared 
condition, until, reassured by the sympathetic words of 
YVonnet, she was able to begin the tale we have just told, 
and which was received with a general cry of indignation 
by the adventurers. 

But, let not the reader be deceived, this indignation 
sprang from an entirely selfish cause. The adventurers 
were not indignant at the little morality displayed by the 
marauders in connection with the Chateau du Parcq and its 
inhabitants. No; they were indignant at Count Waldeck 
and his sons having pillaged in the morning a chateau 
which they had reckoned on pillaging in the evening. 

This indignation was succeeded by a general hubbub, 
which, in turn, was followed by a resolution, adopted unani- 
mously, to go into the open and see at once what was pass- 
ing in the direction of the camp, whither Philippin had been 
transported, and in the direction of the chateau, where had 
been accomplished the drama just related by Gertrude with 
all the eloquence and all the energy of terror. 

But the indignation of the adventurers did not exclude 
prudence. It was then decided that a man of goodwill 


should begin by exploring the wood, and render an ac- 
count of the present condition of things to the adventur- 
ers. Their action would depend on the motives for fear or 
security supplied by this exploration. 

Yvonnet offered to beat the wood. He was, besides, the 
very man for the work: he knew all the turnings and twist- 
ings of the forest; he was as agile as a stag and cunning as 
a fox. 

Gertrude broke into loud cries, and tried to prevent her 
lover going on a dangerous mission. But she was made to 
understand, without much ceremony, that the moment was 
badly chosen for the display of her amorous susceptibilities, 
which were likely to be anything but favorably appreciated 
by the rather practical people among whom she found 
herself. She was a sensible girl at bottom; she grew calm 
when she saw that her cries and tears would not only have 
no result, but might even turn out badly for her. Besides, 
Yvonnet explained to her, in a low voice, that an adven- 
turer's mistress ought not to affect the nervous sensibility 
of a princess of romance, and, having placed her in the 
hands of his friend Fracasso and under the special guard 
of the two Scharfensteins, he quitted the grotto to accom- 
plish the important mission which he had just undertaken. 

Ten minutes after, he was back. The forest was per- 
fectly deserted, and did not appear to offer any danger. 

As the curiosity of the adventurers was almost as keenly 
aroused in their grotto by the story of Mademoiselle Ger- 
trude as the curiosity of Mademoiselle Gertrude had been 
excited in her cistern by the "story of Philippin, and as old 
freebooters of their stamp could not have the same motives 
of prudence as those that direct the actions of a beautiful 
and timid young girl, they left the cavern, abandoning 
Procope's deed of partnership to the guardianship of the 
genii of the place, invited Yvonnet to place himself at their 
head, and, guided by him, they directed their course toward 
the border of the wood, not without each making sure that 
his dagger or sword had not rusted in the scabbard. 




ACCOEDING as our adventurers advanced toward that 
point of the forest which we have said stretched 
out in the form of a lance-head in the direction of 
Hesdin, stopping within a quarter of a league of it, and 
separating the two basins of the plain already known to our 
readers, a thick copse succeeded the larger trees, and by the 
closeness of the trunks and the interlacing of the branches 
afforded still greater security to such as took advantage of 
its shade. It was, then, without being seen by any living 
soul that the little band made its way to the outskirts 
of the forest. 

Nearly fifteen yards from the ditch that separated the 
forest from the plain a ditch which ran along the road 
brought to the notice of our readers in the first chapter of 
this work and forming a means of communication between 
the Chateau du Parcq, the camp of the emperor, and the 
neighboring villages our adventurers halted. 

The spot was well selected for such a purpose; a huge 
oak, remaining with a few other trees of the same height 
and the same size, to indicate the sort of giants that had 
formerly fallen under the axe, spread its dome of foliage 
above their heads, while, by advancing a few steps forward, 
they could take in at a glance the whole plain, unseen 

All raised their eyes at the same time to the leafy crown 
of the venerable tree. Yvonnet understood what was ex- 
pected of him; he nodded consent and borrowed Fracasso's 
tablets, containing one last, immaculate leaf, which the poet 


showed him, at the same time recommending him to respect 
the others, the depositaries of his romantic reveries. He. 
planted one of the two Scharfensteins against the gnarled 
trunk, not to be embraced, even by that giant's arms, placed 
a foot on each of the German's hands, climbed to his shoul- 
ders, from his shoulders to the branches, and was soon 
seated astride, on a stout bough, with as much ease and 
security as is a sailor on the yard of the maintop or jib- 

During the ascent, Gertrude followed him with an anx- 
ious eye ; but she had already learned to restrain her fears 
and repress her cries. Besides, on seeing the carelessness 
with which her lover took his station on the branch, the 
readiness with which he turned his head left and right, she 
knew that he was at least in no danger from one of those 
fits of dizziness to which he was liable when nobody was 
looking on. 

But Yvonnet, in the meanwhile, with one hand shading 
his eyes, was looking now north, now south, and appearing 
to divide his attention between two spectacles equally inter- 

These multiplied motions of the head strongly excited 
the curiosity of the adventurers, who, lost in the depths of 
the coppice, could see nothing of what Yvonnet was seeing 
from the elevated region in which he was domiciled. 

Yvonnet could understand their impatience, of which 
they gave many signs by throwing back their heads, ques- 
tioning him by a look, and even venturing to cry, in sup- 
pressed tones, "What is happening?" 

And among those who questioned by voice and gesture 
we may be sure Mademoiselle Gertrude was not the least 

Yvonnet made a sign with his hand, which meant that 
if they waited a few seconds they should know as much as 
he. He opened the tablets of Fracasso, tore out the last 
blank page, wrote on this page a few lines in pencil, rolled 
the paper between his fingers, in order that the wind might 


not bear it away, and dropped it. All hands were stretched 
out to catch it, even the white little hands of Mademoiselle 
Gertrude; but it was between the huge paws of Franz 
Scharfenstein that the paper fell. 

The giant laughed at his good luck, and, passing the 
paper to his neighbor, said, "Take it, Monsieur Procope; 
I don't know how to read French." 

Procope, not less curious than the others to know what 
was passing, unfolded the paper, and amid general silence 
read the following lines: 

"The Chateau du Parcq is on fire. 

"Count Waldeck, his two sons, and forty reiters have 
appeared in the plain and are taking the direction of the 

"They are about two hundred yards from the point of 
the wood in which we are hidden. 

"So much for my right. 

"Now another little troop is following the road from 
the camp to the chateau. 

"It consists of seven men, a leader, squire, page, and 
four soldiers. 

' ' As well as I can judge from here, the leader is Duke 
Emmanuel Philibert. 

"His troop is nearly at the same distance on our left that 
Waldeck 's is on our right. 

"If the two troops march at the same speed, they ought 
to meet at the point of the wood and find themselves face to 
face at the moment they least expect it. 

1 ' If Duke Emmanuel has been informed by M. Philippin, 
as seems probable, of what occurred at the chateau, we are 
about to see something curious. 

"Attention, comrades; it is the duke, beyond doubt." 

Here the note of Yvonnet ended. It was impossible to 
say more things in fewer words, and to promise with more 
simplicity a spectacle which, in truth, was likely to be very 
curious, if the adventurer was not mistaken on the identity 
and intentions of the parties. 

Naturally, therefore, the several companions drew near 
the outskirts of the wood with all sorts of precautions, in 


order to witness with the greatest possible comfort and the 
least possible danger the spectacle promised by Yvonnet, and 
for observing which chance had given him the best place. 

If the reader will follow the example of our adventurers, 
we shall not trouble ourselves about Count Waldeck and 
his sons, whose acquaintance we have made already through 
the medium of Mademoiselle Gertrude, and, stealing across 
the left border of the wood, we, too, shall put ourselves 
in communication with the new personage announced by 
Yvonnet, who, indeed, is no less a personage than the hero 
of our story. 

Yvonnet was not mistaken. The leader, advancing be- 
tween his squire and page, and preceding a little troop 
of four men-at-arms, as if there was only question of an 
ordinary patrol, was really Duke Emmanuel Philibert, 
generalissimo of the forces of the Emperor Charles Y. in 
the Low Countries. 

He was the more easily recognized because, instead of 
wearing his helmet on his head, it hung on the left side 
of his saddle, its constant position, in rain and sun, and 
even sometimes in battle; from whence it was said his sol- 
diers, seeing his insensibility to cold and heat and blows, 
gave him the name of T&te de Per. 

He was at the present time a handsome young man of 
twenty- seven, of middle height, but vigorously built, with 
hair cut very short, very clearly marked brown eyebrows, 
keen blue eyes, and straight nose. He had a heavy mus- 
tache, and a beard trimmed to a point; in fine, his neck 
seemed pressed down on his shoulders, as happens almost 
always in the case of the descendants of those warlike races 
whose ancestors have worn the helmet for many generations. 

When he spoke, his voice had at once infinite sweetness 
and remarkable firmness. A strange characteristic of it was 
that it could ascend to the expression of the most violent 
menace without rising more than one or two tones; the as- 
cendant gamut of anger was concealed in the almost imper- 
ceptible gradations of the accent. 


As a result, only his most intimate friends knew what 
perils awaited those imprudent enough to arouse and brave 
his anger an anger so carefully restrained that its strength 
could only be understood, and its extent measured, at the 
moment when, preceded by the lightning of his eyes, it 
burst forth, thundered, and pulverized like a bolt from 
heaven. Then, the thunderbolt once fallen, the storm at 
once ceases, and the weather is again serene; the explosion 
over, the physiognomy of the duke recovered its habitual 
serenity and calm: his eyes their look of placidity and 
strength; his mouth its benevolent and royal smile. 

As to the squire, riding at his right, with his visor up, 
he was a fair young man of nearly the same age and of 
exactly the same build as the duke. His clear blue eyes, 
full of boldness and energy, his beard and mustaches, fair, 
but with a warmer tint than that of his hair, his nose, with 
the nostrils dilated like those of a lion, his lips, whose 
plumpness and ruddiness the mustaches could not hide, 
his complexion, rich with the double coloring of health and 
exercise all indicated the possession of the very highest 
degree of physical strength. At his back not girt to his 
side hung one of those terrible two-handed swords of 
which Frangois I. broke three at the battle of Marignano, 
and which, from their length, could only be drawn from 
over the shoulder, while at the saddle-bow was one of those 
battle-axes that had a blade on one side, was a club on the 
other, and had a lance -head at the end, so that it could, 
when occasion required, be used as a hammer to knock 
a man down, an axe to cleave him in two, and a poniard 
to stab him. 

On the left of the duke was the page, a handsome lad of 
from sixteen to perhaps, though scarcely, eighteen, with 
blue-black hair, cut after the German fashion, as it is worn in 
Holbein's knights and Eaphael's angels. His eyes, shaded 
by long velvety lashes, were endowed with that elusive 
shade which floats between chestnut and violet, and is only 
met in Arab or Sicilian eyes. His olive complexion, of that 


fine olive peculiar to the northern countries of the Italian 
peninsula, resembled Carrara marble, whose paleness had 
been longingly and amorously absorbed by a Roman sun. 
His hands, small, white, and tapering, managed, with won- 
derful skill, a little Tunis horse whose sole saddle was a 
leopard's skin, with eyes of enamel, teeth and claws of gold, 
a slender silken cord serving for bridle. As to his dress, at 
once simple and full of elegance, it was composed of a 
doublet of black velvet, opening on a cherry -colored vest 
with white satin facings, and drawn in at the bottom by 
a gold cord supporting a dagger, the handle of which was a 
single agate. His feet, beautifully modelled, were shod with 
morocco boots, and came up above the knee, the hose of the 
same material and color as the doublet. 

In fine, his forehead was covered by a cap of the same 
stuff and color as the entire exterior part of his clothing. 
A diamond agrafe held in front a cherry -colored plume 
which rolled around it, floating at the least breath of air, 
and falling gracefully between his shoulders. 

And now that we have introduced our new characters, 
we shall return to the action, which, interrupted for a mo- 
ment, is about to unfold itself with still more vigor and 
firmness than before. 

In fact, during this description, Duke Emmanuel Phili- 
bert, his two companions, and the four men of his suite 
were proceeding on their way, without hurrying or slacken- 
ing their horses' steps. Only, when they approached the 
point of the wood, the face of the duke grew more sombre, 
as if he had a presentiment that some spectacle of desola- 
tion would meet his eyes, once that point was passed. But 
suddenly, on arriving simultaneously at the extremity of 
the angle, as had foreseen Yvonnet, the two troops found 
themselves face to face, and, strange to say! it was the 
stronger of the two that stopped, nailed to the spot by 
a feeling of surprise, with which a little fear was obviously 

Emmanuel Philibert, on the contrary, without indicating 


by a start, by a gesture, by a motion of his countenance, 
the feeling, whatever it might be, which agitated him, 
continued his course, riding straight up to Count Waldeck, 
who awaited him, placed between his two sons. 

At ten paces from the count, Emmanuel made a sign 
to his squire, his page, and four soldiers, who halted with 
a regularity and obedience quite military, and allowed him 
to go on alone. 

When he was just within reach of Vicomte Waldeck, 
who happened to be stationed as a rampart between him 
and his father, the duke halted in turn. 

The three gentlemen saluted by raising their hands to 
their helmets; but in raising his, the bastard of Waldeck 
lowered his visor, as if to be ready for any eventuality. 

The duke replied to the triple salutation by an inclina- 
tion of his bare head. 

Then, addressing Vicomte Waldeck in that dulcet voice 
that made a harmony of his words 

"Vicomte," he said, "you are a brave and worthy gen- 
tleman, one of those gentlemen whom I love, and whom my 
august master, the Emperor Charles V. , loves. I have been 
a long time thinking of doing something for you; but a 
quarter of an hour ago the opportunity has presented itself, 
and I have seized it. I have just been informed that a com- 
pany of a hundred and twenty lances which I have ordered 
to be levied, by command of his Majesty the Emperor, on 
the left bank of the Khine, is assembled at Spires; I have 
named you captain of this company. ' ' 

' ' Monseigneur ' ' stammered the young man, astonished, 
and blushing with pleasure. 

"Here is your commission, signed by me, and sealed 
with the seal of the Empire, ' ' continued the duke, drawing 
from his breast a parchment which he presented to the 
viscount; "take it, set out on the very instant, and without 
a minute's delay. Gro, M. le Vicomte de Waldeck; show 
yourself worthy of the favor granted you, and God keep 


The favor was, in fact, great. And so the young man, 
obedient to the order given him to set out at once, imme- 
diately took leave of his father and brother, and, turning to 

"Monseigneur, " said he, "you are truly a justiciary, as 
you are called, for evil as well as for good, for the wicked 
man as well as for the good man. You have had confidence 
in me; that confidence shall be justified. Adieu, mon- 
seigneur. ' ' And, spurring his horse to a gallop, the young 
man disappeared at a corner of the wood. 

Emmanuel Philibert followed him with his eyes until he 
was entirely out of sight. Then, turning round, and fixing 
a severe look on Count Waldeck 

"And now it is your turn, M. le Comte!" he said. 

"Monseigneur, " interrupted the count, "let me first 
thank your Highness for the favor you have just granted 
my son. ' ' 

' ' The favor I have granted Vicomte Waldeck does not 
deserve thanks," coldly replied Emmanuel, "since he has 
merited it. But you heard what he said: I am a justiciary 
for evil as well as for good, for the wicked man as well as 
for the good man. Surrender your sword, M. le Comte!" 

The count started, and, in an accent that clearly indi- 
cated he would not easily obey the order just given him 

1 ' Surrender my sword ! And why ?" 

"You know my orders forbidding pillage and maraud- 
ing, under penalty of the lash for the common soldiers, and 
court-martial or imprisonment for the officers. You have 
violated my orders by forcibly entering the Chateau du 
Parcq, in spite of the protest of your eldest son, and steal- 
ing the gold, jewelry and plate of the chatelaine inhabiting 
it. You are a marauder and a pillager; surrender your 
sword, M. le Comte de Waldeck!" 

The duke pronounced these words without the tone of 
his voice visibly changing, except for his squire and page, 
who, beginning to comprehend the situation, looked at each 
other with a certain anxiety. 


Count Waldeck turned pale; but, as we have said, it 
was difficult for a stranger to guess by the sound of Em- 
manuel Philibert's voice the menacing nature of his anger 
or his justice. 

"My sword, monseigneur ?" said Waldeck. "Oh! I 
must have committed some other misdeed ? A gentleman 
does not surrender his sword for such a trifle 1" And he 
tried to laugh disdainfully. 

"Yes, monsieur, yes," returned Emmanuel, "you have 
committed something else; but for the honor of the German 
nobility I was silent about it. Do you wish me to speak ? 
Be it so ; then listen. It did not suffice you to rob the mis- 
tress of the house of her gold and jewelry and plate ; you 
had her tied to the foot of her bed, and you said to her, 'If, 
in two hours, you do not put two hundred rose nobles in 
our hands, I shall set fire to your chateau!' You said this; 
and as, at the end of the two hours, the poor woman, who 
had given you her last pistole, found it impossible to hand 
over the sum demanded, in spite of the prayers of your 
eldest son, you set fire to the farm- buildings, in order that 
the unhappy victim might have time to make her own reflec- 
tions before the fire gained the chateau. Hold! you will 
not attempt to say this is untrue: the smoke and flame can 
be seen from here. You are an incendiary ; surrender your 
sword, M. le Comte!" 

The count ground his teeth, for he was beginning to 
comprehend the extent of the resolution in the calm but 
firm words of the duke. 

"Since you are so well informed as to the beginning, 
monseigneur," he said, "you are no doubt equally so as to 
the end?" 

' ' You are right, monsieur, I know everything ; but I 
wanted to spare you the cord, which you deserve. ' ' 

"Monseigneur!" cried Waldeck, in a menacing tone. 

"Silence, monsieur!" said Emmanuel Philibert; "re- 
spect your accuser, and tremble before your judge! The 
end? I am about to tell it to you. By the glare of the 


flame already mounting into the air, your bastard, who had 
the key of the room in which the prisoner was garroted, 
entered that room. The unfortunate woman had not cried 
on seeing the fire approaching her; that was only death. 
She cried on seeing your bastard advance and seize her in 
his arms, for that was dishonor ! Vicomte Waldeck heard 
these cries, and ran up. He summoned his brother to re- 
store the woman he was outraging to liberty ; but instead of 
answering the appeal, he flung his prisoner, still garroted, 
on the bed, and drew his sword. Yicomte Waldeck also 
drew his, resolved to save this woman, even at the peril of 
his life. The two brothers attacked each other furiously, 
for there had been bitter hate between them for a long time. 
You then entered, and, believing your sons to be fighting for 
the possession of this woman, 'The fairest woman in the 
world,' you said, l is not worth a single drop of blood from, 
the veins of a soldier. Sheathe your swords, boys; I will 
make you friends again. ' Then both the brothers lowered 
their weapons at your command; you stepped between 
them ; both followed you with their eyes, for they did not 
know what you were about to do. You approached the 
woman, and before either of your sons had time to prevent 
the infamous deed, you drew your dagger and plunged it in 
her breast. Do not say that this is not so ; do not say that 
this is not true ; your dagger is still wet and your hands are 
still bloody. You are an assassin; surrender your sword, 
Count Waldeck!" 

"That is easily said, monseigneur, " replied the count; 
* k but a Waldeck would not surrender you his sword, prince 
though you be, even if he stood alone against you seven ; 
for a stronger reason, he will not, when he has his son on 
his right and forty soldiers at his back. ' ' 

"Then," said Emmanuel, with a slight change in his 
voice, "if you will not surrender it voluntarily, I must take 
it by force. ' ' And, with a single bound, his horse was side 
by side with Count Waldeck' s. 

The latter was pressed too close to be able to draw his 


sword; he reached his hand to his holsters; but, before he 
could open them, Emmanuel Philibert had plunged his 
hand in his, which were open beforehand, and drew a pistol, 
ready loaded, from them. 

The movement was so rapid that neither the bastard of 
Waldeck, nor the squire, nor the page of the duke, nor 
Count Waldeck himself foresaw it. Emmanuel Philibert, 
with a hand steady and sure as that of justice, discharged 
it at such close quarters that he burned the count's face, as 
well as blew out his brains. 

The count had hardly time to utter a cry; he opened his 
arms, fell back slowly on the croup of his horse, like an 
athlete whom some invisible wrestler was bending backward, 
lost the spur from his left foot, then from his right, and 
rolled heavily on the ground. 

The justiciary had done justice: the count was killed 
on the spot. 

During all the time the scene lasted, the bastard of Wal- 
deck, entirely sheathed in his iron mail, had remained as 
motionless as an equestrian statue; but when he heard the 
pistol-shot and saw his father fall, he uttered a hoarse cry 
of rage, which was further roughened through the visor of 
his helmet. Then, addressing the stupefied and frightened 

"Help, comrades!" he shouted in German; "this man is 
not one of us. Death! death to Duke Emmanuel Phili- 

But the only reply of the reiters was a shake of the head 
in sign of refusal. 

"Ah!" cried the young man, allowing himself to grow 
more and more enraged "ah! you do not listen to me! 
You refuse to avenge one who loved you as his children, 
who loaded you with gold, who gorged you with booty! 
Well, then, I will avenge him, since you are ingrates and 

And he drew his sword, about to rush upon the duke. 
But two reiters jumped to the head of his horse, seizing the 


rein on each side of the bit, while a third clasped him in his 

The young man struggled furiously, overwhelming those 
who held him with insults. 

The duke gazed on the spectacle with a certain pity; he 
understood the despair of this son who had just seen his 
father fall at his feet. 

"Your Highness," said the reiters, "what orders have 
you to give regarding this man, and what are we to do with 

"Let him go free," said the duke. "He threatened me. 
If I arrested him, he might believe I was afraid." 

The reiters tore the sword from the hands of the bastard 
and left him free. 

The young man spurred his horse, which, at a single 
bound, cleared the distance between him and Emmanuel 

The latter awaited him with his hand on the trigger of 
his second pistol. 

"Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, Prince of Pied- 
mont," cried the bastard of Waldeck, extending his hand 
toward him threateningly, "you understand, do you not, 
that from this day there is between me and you mortal 
hatred? Emmanuel Philibert, you have slain my father." 
He lowered his visor. "Look well at my face, and every 
time you see it again, by night or by day, at festival or in 
battle, woe to you, Emmanuel Philibert!" 

And he set out at full gallop, shaking his hand, as if to 
hurl one more malediction at the duke, and crying again, 
for the last time, "Woe!" 

"Wretch!" shouted the squire of Emmanuel, spurring 
his horse, in order to pursue him. 

But the duke, making an imperative sign with his hand 

"Not a step further, Scianca-Ferro!" he said; "I forbid 

Then, turning to his page, who, pale as death, seemed 
ready to drop from the saddle 


"What is the matter, Leone?" he said, approaching, 
and offering his hand. "In truth, seeing you thus, wan 
and trembling, one would take you for a woman!" 

* ' Oh, my beloved duke, ' ' murmured the page, ' ' say again 
that you are not wounded, or I die " 

"Child!" said the duke, "am I not under the hand of 

Then, addressing the reiters 

"My friends," he said, pointing to the dead body of 
Count Waldeck, "give this man Christian burial, and let 
the justice I have executed on him be to you a proof that 
in my eyes, as in those of the Lord, there are neither great 
nor little." 

And making a sign of the head to Scianca-Ferro and 
Leone, he took the road to the camp with them, without 
any trace remaining on his countenance of the terrible event 
that had just taken place, except that the usual thoughtful 
furrow on his forehead seemed a little more deepened than 



WHILE the adventurers, visible witnesses of the 
catastrophe we have related, after casting a 
melancholy glance on the smoking ruins of 
the Chateau du Parcq, are regaining their grotto, where 
they will put their signatures to the deed of partnership, 
become useless for the present, but likely to bear the most 
marvellous results in the future for their nascent associa- 
tion; while the reiters, obedient to the order given, or 
rather to the recommendation made, to procure Christian 
sepulture for their dead leader, are about to dig the grave 
of him who, having received the punishment of his crime 
on earth, rests now in the hope of divine mercy; while, in 


fine, Emmanuel Philibert reaches his tent with his squire 
and page 011 each side of him let us, abandoning the pro- 
logue, mise en sctne, and secondary characters of our drama 
for the real action and principal characters about to come 
on the stage, let us venture, in order to give the reader a 
more ample knowledge of their disposition and moral and 
political situation, on an excursion at once historical for 
some, and romantic for others, into the domain of the past, 
that splendid realm of the poet and historian, which no 
revolution can wrest from them. 

Emmanuel Philibert, third son of Charles III. the Good 
and Beatrix of Portugal, was born in the castle of Chambery 
on the 8th of July, 1528. 

He received his double name Emmanuel Philibert for 
the following reasons: Emmanuel, in honor of his maternal 
grandfather Emmanuel, King of Portugal, and Philibert, 
in virtue of a vow made by his father to Saint Philibert 
of Tournus. 

He was born at four in the afternoon, and appeared so 
weak at his entrance into life that the respiration of the 
infant was supported solely by the breath introduced into 
his lungs by one of the women of his mother; and until he 
was three years old he remained with his head inclined on 
his breast, and was unable to stand on his legs. So, when 
his horoscope was drawn, as was then customary at the birth 
of every prince, and it was predicted that the new-born child 
was to be a great warrior, and glorify the House of Savoy 
with a splendor brighter than it had received from Peter, 
surnamed the Little Charlemagne, or Amadeus Y., called 
the Great, or Amadeus VI., vulgarly styled the Green Count, 
his mother could not help shedding tears, and his father, a 
resigned and pious prince, saying, with a shake of the head 
and an expression of doubt, to the mathematician who made 
the prediction: 

"May God hear you, my friend!" 

Emmanuel Philibert was the nephew of Charles V. by 
his mother Beatrix of Portugal, the fairest and most accom- 


plished princess of her time, and cousin of Frangois L, by 
his aunt, Louise of Savoy, under whose pillow the Conne*- 
table de Bourbon claimed to have left the cordon of the 
Order of the Holy Ghost, which Frangois I. ordered him 
to return. 

Another of his aunts was that vivacious Margaret of 
Austria, who left a collection of songs in manuscript still 
to be seen in the national library of France, and who, when 
attacked by a storm at the time she was going to Spain to 
marry the son of Ferdinand and Isabella, after having been 
betrothed to the Dauphin of France and to the King of Eng- 
land, made, under the impression she was going to die, this 
curious epitaph on herself 

Weep, Loves, the fate of Margaret here laid, 
"Who thrice betrothed was, yet died a maid. 

As to Emmanuel Philibert, he was, as we have said, so 
weak that, in spite of the prediction of the astrologer that 
he would be a powerful warrior, his father destined him for 
the Church. So, at the age of three, he was sent to Bologna 
to kiss the feet of Pope Clement VII., who, coming thither 
to give the crown to his uncle, the Emperor Charles V. , and 
on the recommendation of the latter, the young prince ob- 
tained the promise of a cardinal's hat. Hence his surname 
of the Cardinalin, given him in childhood, and which used 
to enrage him. 

Why should this name enrage the child ? We are about 
to see. 

The reader remembers that woman, or rather that friend, 
of the Duchess of Savoy, who had breathed life into the lit- 
tle Emmanuel Philibert an hour after his birth, and just as 
he was about to expire. Six months before, she had had a 
son who came into the world as strong and vigorous as that 
of the duchess had come weak and languishing. Now, the 
duchess, seeing her son thus saved, said to her: 

' ' My dear Lucrezia, this child is now as much yours as 
mine; 1 give him to you. Take him, nourish him with your 


milk as you have nourished him with your breath, and E 
shall owe you more than even he does ; for he will only owe 
you life, but I shall owe you my child!" 

Lucrezia received the child, of whom she was now made 
the mother, as a sacred trust. And yet it looked as if this 
must work some injury to the little Kinaldo it was the 
name of her own son if the heir of the Duke of Savoy 
was to recover life and strength by depriving his foster- 
brother of a portion of that nutriment which was his due. 

But Einaldo at six months was stronger than another 
child would have been at the end of a year. Besides, Na- 
ture has her miracles, and the two infants drew life from 
the same paps without the source of the maternal milk 
being for a moment exhausted. 

The duchess smiled as she saw, hanging from the same 
living trellis, this stranger child so strong, and her own 
child so feeble. 

For that matter, it might be said that little Einaldo un- 
derstood this feebleness, and had compassion on it. Often 
the capricious ducal baby wanted the pap at which the other 
was drinking ; and the latter, a smile on his lips white with 
milk, gave place to his imperious foster-brother. 

Thus the two children grew on the knees of Lucrezia. 
At three Einaldo seemed to be five; at three, as we have 
said, Emmanuel Philibert hardly walked, and only with an 
effort raised his head from his breast. This was the time of 
the journey to Bologna, when Pope Clement VII. promised 
him the cardinal's hat. 

It looked as if this promise brought him good fortune, 
and this name of Cardinalin won him the protection of (rod; 
for when he passed his third year, his health improved and 
his body grew vigorous. 

But the one who in this respect made the most marvel- 
lous progress was Einaldo. His most solid playthings flew 
into pieces under his fingers ; he could not touch any one of 
them without breaking it. 

Then his toys were made of steel, but he broke them as 


if they were china. And so it was that the good Duke 
Charles III., who amused himself with seeing the children 
at their games, called the companion of Emmanuel Philibert 
Scianca- Ferro, which in the Piedmontese patois signifies, 

The name remained to him. And the remarkable thing 
was that Scianca- Ferro never used this miraculous strength 
except to protect Emmanuel, whom he adored instead of 
being jealous of him, as might perhaps have happened in the 
case of another child. 

As to young Emmanuel, he envied very much his foster- 
brother's strength, and would have willingly exchanged his 
nickname of Cardinalin for that of Scianca- Ferro. 

However, he seemed to gain a certain vigor from this 
companionship with a vigor greater than his own. Scianca- 
Ferro, bringing his strength down to the level of the young 
prince's, wrestled with him, ran with him, and, not to dis- 
courage him, allowed himself sometimes to be outstripped 
in the race and vanquished in the wrestling- bout. 

All exercises riding, swimming, fencing were common 
to them. In all, Scianca- Ferro was the superior. But it 
was, after all, only an affair of chronology; and Victor Em- 
manuel, though holding back, had not yet said his last word. 

The two children were inseparable, and loved each other 
like brothers. Each was jealous of the other, as a mistress 
might have been of her lover; and yet the time was ap- 
proaching when a third companion, whom they would adopt 
with equal affection, was to mingle in their games. 

One day when the court of Charles III. was at Yerceil, 
on account of certain disturbances that had broken out at 
Milan, the two lads, in company with their riding-master, 
made a lengthy journey on horseback along the left bank of 
the Sesia, passed by Novara, and ventured almost up to the 
Ticino. The horse of the young duke was in front, when 
suddenly a bull, shut up in a pasture- field, breaking through 
the barriers by which he was imprisoned, frightened the 
horse of the prince. The animal ran away with him, cross- 


ing meadows, and leaping over streams, bushes, and hedges. 
Emmanuel was an admirable rider, so there was nothing to 
be feared; however, Scianca-Ferro rushed after him, taking 
the same course he did, and, like him, leaping over all the 
obstacles he encountered. The riding-master, more prudent, 
went round by a circular line, which was likely to lead him 
to the point the two young people were making for. 

After a quarter of an hour's reckless racing, Scianca- 
Ferro, no longer seeing Emmanuel, and fearing he had met 
with some accident, called with all his might. Two of these 
appeals remained unanswered; at last he thought he heard 
the prince's voice in the direction of Oleggio. He turned 
his horse on that side, and soon, in fact, guided by the 
voice of Emmanuel, he found his comrade on the banks 
of an affluent of the Ticino. 

At his feet was a dead woman, and in her arms a little 
boy, almost dying, of from four to five years. 

The horse, which had grown calm, was quietly browsing 
the young shoots of the trees, while his master was trying 
to restore consciousness to the child. As to the woman, 
nothing could be done for her; she was quite dead. 

She appeared to have succumbed to fatigue, misery, and 
hunger. The child, who had undoubtedly shared the mis- 
ery and fatigue of his mother, seemed nearly dead from 

The village of Oleggio seemed only a mile from there. 
Scianca-Ferro set his horse to a gallop, and disappeared in 
the direction of the village. 

Emmanuel would have gone there himself, instead of 
sending his brother; but the child clung to him, and, feel- 
ing that there was still a bare chance for its life, he did not 
wish to leave it. 

The poor little thing had drawn him quite near the 
woman, and was saying, with that heartrending accent 
of childhood, unconscious of its misfortune - 

"Wake up, mamma! please waken, mamma!" 

Emmanuel wept. What could he do, poor child, now 


seeing, for the first time, the spectacle of death ? He had 
only his tears, and he gave them. 

Scianca-Ferro reappeared; he brought bread and a flask 
of Asti wine. They tried to introduce a few drops between 
the lips of the mother a vain effort: she was but a corpse. 
There was nothing to be done, therefore, except for the 

The child, while weeping because his mother would not 
waken, drank and ate, and recovered a little strength. 

At this moment the peasants, whom Scianca-Ferro had 
summoned, arrived. They had met the riding-master, who 
was quite scared at the disappearance of his two pupils, and 
led him to the place appointed by Scianca-Ferro. 

They then knew that they were acting for the young 
Prince of Savoy; and as Duke Charles was adored by his 
subjects, they at once offered to execute whatever orders 
Emmanuel might give with regard to the mother and child. 

Emmanuel selected from among the peasants a woman 
who looked kind-hearted and good; he gave her all the 
money he and Scianca-Ferro had on them, took her name 
down in writing, and begged her to see after the mother's 
funeral and the most pressing needs of the child. 

Then, as it was growing late, the riding-master insisted 
on his two pupils turning their horses' heads toward Ver- 
ceil. The little orphan wept bitterly; he did not want to 
quit his good friend Emmanuel, for he knew his name, 
though not his rank. Emmanuel promised to return to see 
him; this promise quieted him somewhat; but as long as he 
could see him he continued to stretch out his arms toward 
the savior chance had brought him. 

And, in truth, if the succor sent by chance, or rather, 
by Providence, to the poor child, had been delayed even 
two hours, he would have been found dead beside his 

Notwithstanding all the diligence of the riding-master, 
the evening was far advanced when they reached the castle 
of Verceil. There had been considerable anxiety about 


them, and messengers sent in all directions. The duchess 
was preparing to give them a good scolding when Emman- 
uel began his story, relating it in his sweet voice, whose 
tones were instinct with the sadness the gloomy event had 
impressed on his soul. The story finished, no one thought 
of scolding, but rather of praising the children; and the 
duchess, sharing the interest felt in the orphan by her son, 
declared that on the day after the funeral of the mother, 
she would pay him a visit. 

And on the day appointed, the duchess set out in a lit- 
ter, accompanied by the two young comrades on horseback. 

On arriving near the village, Emmanuel could not re- 
strain himself; he set spurs to his horse and rode at full 
speed to see the little orphan again. 

His arrival was a great joy for the unfortunate child. 
It had been necessary to tear him away from the body of 
his mother; he would not believe she was dead, and never 
ceased crying 

' ' Do not put her in the ground ; do not put her in the 
ground! I promise you she will awaken!" 

Ever since his mother had been borne from the house, 
they had had to lock him up; he wanted to go and stay 
with her. 

The sight of his savior consoled him a little. 

Emmanuel told him his mother desired to see him, and 
was about to arrive. 

"And you have a mamma also ?" said the orphan. "Oh, 
I shall pray to God not to let her go to sleep so as not to 
waken any more!" 

It was great news that Emmanuel gave the peasants 
this coming of the duchess into their house; and as they 
told it everywhere, people flocked from all quarters of the 
village in the direction she was coming. 

So there was soon quite a procession, which arrived, 
preceded by Scianca-Ferro, who had gallantly remained to 
act as squire to the duchess. 

Emmanuel presented his protege to his mother. The 


duchess asked the child what Emmanuel had forgotten 
to ask him; that is to say, what was his name, and who 
was his mother. 

The child replied that he was called Leone and his 
mother Leona; but he would not give any other details, 
answering to all the questions put to him, " I do not know. ' ' 

And yet, strange to say, it was easy to guess that this 
ignorance was feigned and that it concealed a secret. 

Undoubtedly, his mother, when dying, had advised him 
to only answer as he answered; and, indeed, nothing but 
the last recommendation of a dying mother could make 
such an impression on a child of four years. 

Then the duchess studied the child with a curiosity alto- 
gether feminine. Although his dress was coarse, the hands 
were delicate and white; it was easily seen that a mother, 
and an elegant and refined mother, had taken care of those 
hands. At the same time, his language was that of the 
aristocracy, and he spoke French and Italian equally well. 

The duchess ordered the dress of his mother to be 
brought to her; it was that of a peasant. 

But the peasants who had undressed her said they never 
had seen a whiter skin, more delicate hands, or feet more 
small and elegant. 

Moreover, one circumstance betrayed the class of society 
to which the poor woman must have belonged ; though her 
garb was that of a peasant, rough shoes and drugget gown, 
she wore silk stockings. 

Clearly she had fled in disguise; and of all her garments 
had only kept the silk stockings which betrayed her after 
her death. 

The duchess returned to Leone and questioned him on 
all these points; but his constant answer was, "I do not 
know. ' ' She could not get any other reply from him. She 
recommended anew the poor orphan to the care of the 
worthy peasants, giving them double the sum they had 
already received, and charged them to make inquiries 
about the mother and child in the neighborhood, promis- 


ing them a liberal reward if they were able to give her 
any information. 

Little Leone made the greatest efforts to follow Em- 
manuel; and Emmanuel was very near begging his mother 
to let him take him with him, so genuine was the pity he 
felt for the orphan. He promised Leone then that he would 
return to see him as soon as possible, and the duchess her- 
self declared she would pay him a second visit. 

Unfortunately, about this same period occurred events 
that compelled the duchess to break her promise. For the 
third time Franyois I. declared war on Charles V., on ac- 
count of the duchy of Milan, which he claimed to inherit 
through Valentine Visconti, wife of Louis d' Orleans, 
brother of Charles VI. 

The first time Frangois had won the battle of Mari- 
gnano. The second time he had lost the battle of Pavia. 

After the treaty of Madrid, after the prison of Toledo, 
after, above all, he had pledged his faith, it would have 
been allowable to imagine that Fra^ois I. had renounced 
all claim to this unfortunate duchy, which, if won by him, 
would have made the King of France a vassal of the Em- 
pire. But it was quite the contrary ; he was only waiting 
for an opportunity to lay claim to it again, and he seized 
the first that presented itself. 

It was good, luckily ; but if it had been bad, he would 
have seized it all the same. 

Francois I. , we know, was not scrupulous as to a viola- 
tion of those silly delicacies that often hamper those donkeys 
known by the name of honest men. 

The following, then, was the opportunity placed within 
his reach. 

Maria Francesco Sforza, son of Ludovico the Moor, 1 
was reigning over Milan; but he was reigning under the 
complete guardianship of the Emperor, from whom he had 
purchased, on the 23d of December, 1529, his duchy for 

1 Many historians believe that he derived his surname, il Moro, not from his 
swarthy complexion, but from the mulberry-tree in his coat of arms. 

(4) Vol. 20 


two hundred thousand ducats, payable during the first 
year of his reign, and five hundred thousand payable in 
the two following years. 

As security for these payments, the castle of Milan, 
Como, and Pavia remained in the hands of the Imperialists. 

Now it happened that, toward 1535, a Milanese gentle- 
man, whose fortune Frangois I. had made, was accredited 
as ambassador of France at the court of Duke Sforza. 

This gentleman was named Francesco Maraviglia. Hav- 
ing grown very rich at the court of France, Francesco Mara- 
viglia was at once proud and happy to return to his natal 
city with all the pomp of an ambassador. 

He brought with him his wife and daughter, then three 
years old, leaving in Paris, among the pages of King Fran- 
gois, his son Odoart, aged twelve years. 

How did this ambassador come to offend Charles V.? 
"Why did he invite Sforza to get rid of him on the first op- 
portunity ? This is unknown, and can only be known when 
the secret correspondence of the Emperor with the Duke of 
Milan is discovered, as was his secret correspondence with 
Cosmo de Medicis. But, however, it happened that when 
there was an accidental quarrel between some subjects of 
Sforza and the servants of the ambassador, in which two 
of the former were slain, Maraviglia was arrested and con- 
ducted to the castle of Milan, held, as we have said, by 
the Imperialists. 

What became of Maraviglia? No one ever knew for 
certain. Some said he had been poisoned; others, that, 
having missed his footing, he had fallen into an oubliette, 
the neighborhood of which they neglected to warn him of. 
In fine, the most probable version and the one most believed 
was that he had been executed, or rather assassinated, in 
prison. The certain fact, however, is that he had disap- 
peared, and with him, almost at the same time, his wife 
and daughter, without leaving a trace behind them. 

These events had occurred quite recently, scarcely more 
than a few days before the meeting between Emmanuel and 


Dtniias, I'ol. Twenty 


the dead woman and her abandoned child on the banks of 
a little stream. They were to have a terrible effect on the 
destiny of Duke Charles. 

Frangois I. seized the opportunity by the hair. 

It was not the lamentations of the child beside him de- 
manding vengeance for the murder of his father; it was not 
the royal majesty outraged in the person of an ambassador ; it 
was not, in fine, the law of nations violated by an assassination, 
which inclined the balance to the side of war. No ; it was the 
old leaven of vengeance fermenting in the heart of him who 
had been vanquished at Pavia and a prisoner in Toledo. 

A third expedition to Italy was resolved on. 

The moment was well chosen. Charles V. was in Africa 
fighting against the famous Khair-Eddin, surnamed Bar- 

But to accomplish this fresh invasion, it was necessary 
to pass through Savoy. Now Savoy was held by Charles 
the Good, father of Emmanuel Philibert, uncle of Frangois 
L, and brother-in-law of Charles V. 

For whom would Charles the Good declare himself ? 
Would it be for his nephew ? It was an important thing 
to know. 

But it was suspected what his action would be; all the 
probabilities pointed to the Duke of Savoy being the ally 
of the Empire and the enemy of France. 

In fact, as a pledge of his faith, the Duke of Savoy had 
intrusted to Charles V. his eldest son Louis, Prince of Pied- 
mont. He had refused to receive the order of Saint Michael 
from Frangois I. and a company of artillery with a pension 
of twelve thousand crowns; he had occupied the lands of 
the marquisate of Saluce, a transferable fief in Dauphine. 
He refused homage to the crown of France for that of 
Faucigny. He had expressed his satisfaction at the defeat 
of Pavia in letters to the Emperor. In fine, he had loaned 
money to the Connetable de Bourbon, when the latter 
traversed his states in order to go and get killed by Ben- 
venuto Cellini at the siege of Eome. 


Still, it was necessary to be sure if the doubts were well 

With this object, Franyois I. sent to Turin Gruillaume 
Poyet, President of the Parliament of Paris. The latter 
was instructed to ask Charles two things 

The first was a passage for the French army through 
Savoy and Piedmont. 

The second, the delivery, as places of security, of Mont- 
melian, Veillane, Chivas, and Verceil. 

In exchange, he offered to Duke Charles to give him 
lands in France, and to give his daughter Marguerite in 
marriage to Prince Louis, eldest brother of Emmanuel 

Charles III. deputed Purpurat, the Piedmontese presi- 
dent, to discuss matters with Gruillaume Poyet, the Presi- 
dent of the Parliament of Paris. The former was author- 
ized to permit the passage of the French troops through 
the two provinces of Savoy and Piedmont ; but he was first 
to parry diplomatically the demand for the surrender of the 
fortresses, and then, if Poyet insisted, to give an absolute 

The discussion grew warm between the two plenipo- 
tentiaries, until at last Poyet, routed by the reasoning of 
Purpurat, exclaimed: 

"It shall be so, because the king wills it!" 

"Excuse me," replied Purpurat; "but I do not find that 
law among the laws of Piedmont. ' ' 

And, rising, he abandoned the future to the omnipotent 
will of the King of France and to the wisdom of the Most 

The conferences were broken up, and in the course of 
the month of February, 1535, Duke Charles being in his 
castle of Yerceil, a herald was introduced into his presence, 
who declared war against him in the name of King Fran- 
9ois I. 

The duke heard him tranquilly, then when he had fin- 
ished his warlike message 


"My friend," he said in a calm voice, ''I have rendered 
only services to the King of France, and I have thought 
that the titles of ally, friend, servant, and uncle might have 
met with a better return. I have done what I could to live 
on a good understanding with him ; I have neglected noth- 
ing that could prove to him how wrong he is to be irritated 
against me. But since he will in no manner listen to reason, 
and appears determined to take possession of my states, tell 
him that he shall find me on the frontier, and that, seconded 
by my friends and allies, I hope to defend and preserve my 
country. The king my nephew knows, besides, my motto: 
'Nothing fails him to whom (rod is left!' ' 

And he dismissed the herald, after ordering a very rich 
dress and a pair of gloves filled with crowns to be given 

After such a reply there was nothing for it but to pre- 
pare for war. 

The first resolution adopted by Charles III. was to secure 
the safety of his wife and son by placing them in the fort- 
ress of Nice. 

The departure for Nice was therefore announced as very 

Then Emmanuel Philibert decided that the time had 
come to obtain from his mother a favor he had delayed 
asking until now; namely, permission to take Leone away 
from his peasant home, where, for that matter, he had been 
left only provisionally, as it had been agreed to make him, 
as well as Scianca, a companion of the young prince. 

The Duchess Beatrix, as we have already said, was a 
woman of judicious mind. Everything she had remarked 
in the orphan the delicacy of his features, the fineness of 
his hands, the distinction of his language led her to be- 
lieve that some great mystery was hidden under the rude 
garb of mother and child. The duchess, besides, was a 
woman of religious heart; she saw the hand of Grod in this 
meeting between Leone and Emmanuel, brought about by 
an accident an accident almost providential, since it had 


no other result than to conduct the young prince to the 
dead woman and the expiring child. She thought that at 
the moment when her family was losing everything, when 
misfortune was approaching her house, and when the angel 
of darkness was pointing out to her and her husband and 
child the mysterious road of exile, it was not the hour to 
repulse the orphan, who, grown to manhood, would per- 
haps one day become a friend. She recalled the messenger 
of (rod presenting himself as a simple traveller on the 
threshold of the blind Tobias, to whom, by the hands of 
his son, he restored later joy and light; and, far from 
resisting the prayer of Emmanuel, at the first word he 
said, she anticipated it, and with the permission of the 
duke, authorized her son to transport his protege to Yerceil. 

From Verceil to Nice, Leone was to make the journey 
with the two other children. 

Emmanuel did not wait longer than the next day to an- 
nounce the good news to Leone. At daybreak he descended 
to the stables, saddled himself his little Barbary horse, and, 
leaving to Scianca the care of the rest, started for Oleggio 
with all the speed possible. 

He found Leone very sad. The poor orphan had also 
heard that his rich and powerful protectors were, in their 
turn, visited by misfortune. They had spoken of the de- 
parture of the court for Nice that is to say, for a country 
whose very name was unknown to Leone; and when Em- 
manuel arrived, breathless from his race and sparkling with 
joy, Leone was weeping as if he had a second time lost his 

It is through tears especially that children see the angels. 
We do not exaggerate in saying that Emmanuel appeared 
like an angel through the tears of Leone. 

In a few words everything was said, explained, and set- 
tled, and smiles succeeded tears. There is with man and 
it is his happy time a period when tears and smiles touch 
each other as the night touches the dawn. 

Two hours after Emmanuel, Scianca- Ferro arrived with 


the first equerry of the prince and two grooms, holding by 
the bridle the favorite pony of the duchess. A considera- 
ble sum of money was bestowed on the peasants, who had 
for six weeks taken care of Leone. The latter embraced 
them, weeping again. But this time tears of joy were min- 
gled with tears of regret. Emmanuel assisted him to mount, 
and for fear any accident might happen to his dear protege, 
he himself wished to lead the pony by the bridle. 

Instead of being jealous of this new friendship, Scianca- 
Ferro galloped along quite joyous, going and returning, ex- 
amining the route as if he had been a real captain, and smil- 
ing with that fine boyish smile that discloses the teeth and 
the heart at the same time, on the friend of his friend. 

It was in this manner they arrived at Yerceil. The 
duchess and the duke embraced Leone, and Leone was 
one of the family. 

The next day they set out for Nice, which they reached 
without any accident. 



IT IS not our intention God forbid ! others having done 
it much better than we could it is not our intention, 
we repeat, to relate the wars of Italy, and write the 
history of the great rivalry that desolated the beginning 
of the sixteenth century. No, God has happily, in this 
case at least, assigned us a more humble task; but still, 
we must be permitted to say, a task more picturesque for 
ourselves and more amusing for our readers. We shall, 
therefore, see, in the narrative about to follow, only the 
summits of great events, which, like unto the topmost ridges 
of the Alps, lift above the clouds their peaks covered with 
eternal snows. 


Frangois I. broke through Savoy, crossed Piedmont, and 
spread over Italy. 

For three years the cannon of France and of the Empire 
thundered, now in Provence, now in the duchy of Milan. 

Fair plains of Lombardy, only the Angel of Death can 
tell how many corpses were needed to give you your inex- 
haustible fertility. 

During this time, under the lovely sky of Nice, all azure 
in daytime, all flame at night, when the very insects of dark- 
ness are winged sparks, the children grew up under the look 
of the Princess Beatrix, and under the eye of God. 

Leone had become an indispensable member of the joy- 
ous trinity; he shared in all the sports, but not in all the 
exercises. The too violent studies of the art of war did not 
suit his little hands, and his arms seemed to the masters of 
this art too weak ever to bear in martial fashion the lance 
or the buckler. It is true Leone was three years younger 
than his companions. But it appeared as if in reality there 
were ten years' difference between them, particularly since 
undoubtedly by the grace of the Lord, who was reserving 
him for great things Emmanuel had begun to grow in 
health and strength, as if he had set himself the task of 
gaming in this respect the distance in the race in which 
he had been outstripped by his foster-brother, Scianca- 

And so their respective offices fell quite naturally to 
the companions of the little duke. Scianca-Ferro became 
his squire, and Leone his page. 

Meanwhile news came that Prince Louis, the eldest son 
of the duke, had died at Madrid. 

It was a great sorrow for Duke Charles and Duchess 
Beatrix. But with the sorrow God gave them the conso- 
lation, if in truth there be any consolation for a father and, 
above all, for a mother, in the death of their offspring. 
Prince Louis had been for a long time a stranger to his 
parents; while, under the eyes of the duke and duchess, 
Emmanuel Philibert, who appeared every day to do more 


and more credit to the prediction of the astrologer, was 
flourishing like a lily, growing vigorous as an oak. 

But God, who had doubtless wished only to try the ex- 
iles, before long struck them with a still more cruel blow. 
The Duchess Beatrix fell sick of some disease that ex- 
hausted all her vitality; and in spite of the art of physi- 
cians, and the care of her husband, child, and attendants, 
she expired on the 8th of January, 1538. 

The duke's grief was deep, but religious; that of Em- 
manuel bordered on despair. Happily the ducal child had 
near him that other child who knew what were tears. What 
would have become of him without this gentle companion, 
who did not try to console him, and who was contented to 
mingle his own tears with his ? this was all his philosophy. 

Undoubtedly Scianca-Ferro also suffered from this loss; 
if he could have restored life to the duchess by going in 
search of some terrible giant and challenging him in his 
castle, or defying some fabulous dragon in his cavern, this 
paladin of eleven years would have set out on the very in- 
stant, and without hesitation, to accomplish this exploit ; for 
though he lost his life in the enterprise, would it not give 
back joy and happiness to his friend ? But this was the 
limit of all the consolation he could offer ; his robust nature 
did not lend itself kindly to enervating weeping. A wound 
might make his blood flow; no sorrow would make his tears 
flow. What was necessary to Scianca-Ferro was dangers to 
vanquish, not misfortunes to endure. 

And so what was he doing while Emmanuel Philibert 
was weeping, with his head resting on the shoulder of 
Leone ? He was saddling his horse, girding on his sword, 
hanging his club from his saddle-bows, and wandering 
through that beautiful stretch of hills which borders the 
Mediterranean. Like a mastiff whose rage is excited against 
sticks and stones, which he grinds between his teeth, he was 
figuring to his imagination that he was dealing blows at the 
heretics of Germany or the Saracens of Africa, was making 
fantastic enemies out of insensible and inanimate objects, 


and, in default of cuirasses to batter and helmets to cleave, 
was breaking rocks with his mace and splitting pines and 
oaks with his sword, seeking and finding a relief for his sor- 
row in the violent exercises suited to his rude organization. 

Hours, days, and months slipped by; tears were dried. 
The grief, living at the bottom of the heart as a gentle re- 
gret and tender memory, disappeared gradually from the 
countenance; eyes that searched in vain for the spouse, 
mother, and friend here below were raised to heaven, seek- 
ing for the angel there. 

The heart that turns to God is very close to conso- 

Moreover, events continued their march, imposing on 
sorrow itself a powerful distraction. 

A congress had been decided on, to be participated in 
by Pope Paul III. (Alexander Farnese), Frangois I., and 
Charles "V. The subjects of discussion were : the expulsion 
of the Turks from Europe, the creation of a duchy for Louis 
Farnese, and the restitution to the Duke of Savoy of his 
states. The congress was to be held at Nice. 

Nice had been selected by the Pope and by Charles V., 
in hopes that Frangois L, in recognition of the hospitality 
received from his uncle, would be more ready for con- 

Then there was also a kind of understanding to be 
brought about between Pope Paul III. and Charles V. 

Alexander Farnese had given his eldest son Louis the 
duchies of Parma and Placentia, in exchange for the prin- 
cipalities of Camerino and Nepi, which he had just taken 
from him to give to his second son Octavio. This investi- 
ture was displeasing to Charles V., who had lately refused 
to grant the Pope, on the death of Maria Francesco Sforza 
in 1535, that famous duchy of Milan that was, if not the 
cause, at least the pretext of this interminable war between 
France and the Empire; and this he did, disregarding any 
amount of money offered, however large. 

For that matter, Charles V. was quite right; the new 


Duke of Parma and Placentia was that infamous Louis Far- 
nese who used to say he did not care to be loved, provided 
he was feared; who disarmed the nobles, flogged women, 
and outraged bishops. 

The popes of the sixteenth century were not happy in 
their children. 

The congress of Nice had then for object not only to 
reconcile the Duke of Savoy and the King of France, but 
also the Pope and the Emperor. 

However, Charles III., whom misfortune had rendered 
cautious, could not see without anxiety his nephew, his 
brother-in-law, and their holy arbitrator installed in his last 
fortified place. 

Who could assure him that, instead of restoring the 
states that were taken from him, they would not deprive 
him of what was left to him ? 

At all hazards then, and for greater security, he shut 
up Emmanuel Philibert, his last heir, just as Nice was his 
last city, in the fortress that commanded the place, charg- 
ing the governor not to open the castle to any force what- 
ever, though this force came on the part of pope, emperor, 
or king. 

Then he went in person to meet Paul III. , who, accord- 
ing to the programme arranged, was to precede the Emperor 
and King of France by some days. 

The Pope was no more than a league from Nice, when 
a letter reached the governor from the duke, ordering him 
to prepare the Pope's lodgings in the castle. 

This letter was brought by his Holiness 's captain of 
guards, who, at the head of two hundred foot- soldiers, 
demanded to be admitted into the castle, in order to wait 
on his sovereign. 

Duke Charles spoke of the Pope, but he had said noth- 
ing of the captain nor of his two hundred men. 

The thing was embarrassing; the Pope was expressly 
asking what the governor was expressly forbidden to grant. 

The governor assembled a council. 


Emmanuel Philibert was present, although hardly eleven 
years old. 

Without doubt he had been summoned there to give 
courage to his defenders. 

While they were deliberating, the child perceived hang- 
ing from the wall the wooden model of the castle now 
likely to form a bone of contention between the Pope and 
Charles III. 

"By my faith, gentlemen!" he said to the councillors, 
who had been disputing an hour without being the further 
advanced for that, u you are very much embarrassed for a 
trifle. Since we have a castle of wood and a castle of stone, 
let us give the wooden one to the Pope and keep .the stone 
one for ourselves. ' ' 

"Gentlemen," said the governor, "we have been taught 
our duty by the words of a child. His Holiness shall have, 
if he like, the castle of wood; but I swear by God, he shall 
not have, while I am alive, the castle of stone!" 

The reply of the child and the reply of the governor 
were carried to the Pope, who did not insist further, and 
took lodgings in the convent of the Cordeliers. 

The Emperor arrived, then the King of France. 

Each lodged under his tent on either side of the city, 
with the Pope between them. 

The congress was opened. 

Unfortunately the results were far different from what 
was hoped. 

The Emperor claimed, on behalf of his brother-in-law, 
the states of Savoy and Piedmont. 

Frangois I. claimed for his second son, the Duke of 
Orleans, the duchy of Milan. 

In fine, the Pope, who also wanted to settle his son 
there, demanded that a prince belonging neither to the 
family of Frangois nor of Charles V. should be elected 
Duke of Milan, on condition of receiving investitutre from 
the Emperor and paying a tribute to the King of France. 

Each wanted the impossible, since he wanted the exact 


contrary of what the others wanted. Everybody, indeed, 
desired a truce Fra^ois I. , in order to give a little rest to 
his soldiers, who were half -exhausted, and to his finances, 
which were entirely so ; Charles Y. , in order to repress the 
incursions of the Turks in his two kingdoms of Naples and 
Sicily ; Paul III. , in order to make sure of the principalities 
of Parma and Placentia for his son, since he could not es- 
tablish him in the duchy of Milan. 

A ten years' truce was concluded. Frangois I. himself 
fixed on the figure. 

"Ten years or nothing!" he said peremptorily. And 
ten years were given him. 

It is true that he was the first to break this truce at the 
end of four. 

Charles III., who feared that all these conferences would 
end in the sequestration of the little territory remaining to 
him, saw his illustrious guests depart with more joy than he 
had seen them arrive. 

They left him as they had found him, only somewhat 
poorer by the debts they had incurred in his states and 
forgotten to pay. 

The Pope was the only one who pulled anything out of 
the fire; he had pulled two marriages the marriage of his 
second son Octavio Farnese with Margaret, of Austria, 
widow of Julian de Medicis, who had been assassinated 
at Florence in the church of Saint Mary of the Flowers; 
and the marriage of his niece Yittoria with Antoine, eldest 
son of Charles of Yendome. 

Delivered from his anxiety with respect to Frangois I. , 
Charles Y. made at Grenoa his preparations against the 
Turks. These preparations were immense; they lasted 
two years. 

At the end of these two years, when the fleet was on 
the point of sailing, Duke Charles resolved to pay a visit 
to his brother-in-law, and present his son Emmanuel Phili- 
bert, now entering on his thirteenth year. 

No need of our say ing that Scianca-Ferro and Leone were 


among the travellers. Emmanuel Philibert never took a 
journey without them. 

For some time the young prince had been very much 
preoccupied. He was busied about the composition of a 
discourse of which he never thought of speaking to Mon- 
seigneur Louis Alardet, bishop of Lausanne, his preceptor, 
nor to his governors, Louis de Chatillon, lord of Musinens, 
grand equerry of Savoy, Jean Baptist Provana, lord of 
Leyni, and Edouard de Geneve, baron of Lullens. 

He was content with unbosoming himself on the subject 
to his squire and his page. 

It was nothing less than a discourse embodying a peti- 
tion to the Emperor Charles V. to allow him to accompany 
him on the expedition against the Barbary pirates. 

Scianca-Ferro refused his aid, saying that, if it had been 
a challenge to carry, he would have been equal to the task; 
but as to helping in making up a speech, he knew his in- 

Leone refused, saying that the mere thought of the 
dangers Emmanuel Philibert would naturally run in such 
an expedition disturbed his mind to that degree that he 
could not begin to put together the very first words of 
such a petition. 

The young prince found then that he must rely on him- 
self alone. Therefore, with the assistance of Titus Livy, 
Quintus 'Curtius, Plutarch, and all the makers of discourse 
of antiquity, he composed the one he reckoned on address- 
ing to the Emperor. 

The Emperor was lodging with his friend Andrea Doria, 
in the fine palace which looks like the king of the port of 
Genoa, and was following the provisioning of his fleet, 
while promenading the magnificent terraces from which 
the splendid admiral, after dining the ambassadors of 
Venice, had flung his silver plate into the sea. 

Duke Charles, Emmanuel Philibert, and their suite were 
introduced to the Emperor as soon as they were announced. 

The Emperor embraced his brother-in-law, and was about 


to embrace his nephew also; but Emmanuel Philibert extri- 
cated himself respectfully from the august embrace, put one 
knee on the ground, and with the gravest air in the world, 
his squire and page at his side, without his father having 
even the least idea of what he was going to say, pronounced 
the following words: 

"Devoted to the maintenance of your dignity and your 
cause, which are those of God and of our holy religion, 
I come freely and joyfully to supplicate you, Caesar, to 
receive me as a volunteer among that infinite number of 
warriors who are present from all quarters to range them- 
selves under your banners ; fortunate should I be, O Csesar, 
to learn under the greatest of kings and under an invincible 
emperor the discipline of camps and the science of war. ' ' 

The Emperor looked at him and smiled; and while 
Scianca-Ferro was expressing quite loudly his admiration 
at the discourse of his prince, and Leone, pale with terror, 
was begging Grod to inspire the Emperor with the good 
thought of refusing the offer of Emmanuel's services, the 
monarch replied gravely: 

' ' Prince, I thank you for this mark of your attachment. 
Persist in these good sentiments; they will be useful to us 
both. But you are still too young to follow me to the wars. 
If, however, you are always moved by the same ardor and 
determination, you may rest assured that in a few years you 
shall not want for opportunities. ' ' 

And, raising the young prince, he embraced him. Then, 
to console him, he detached his own order of the Golden 
Fleece and passed it round his neck. 

"Ah, mordieu/" cried Scianca-Ferro, "that is something 
better than a cardinal's hat!" 

. "You have a bold comrade there, fair nephew," said 
Charles V.; "and we shall give him a chain in lieu of the 
cross we may bestow on him some time or other. ' ' 

And, taking a gold chain from the neck of one of his 
lords, he threw it to Scianca-Ferro, saying: 

' ' For you, fair squire. ' ? 


But quick as was the movement of Charles V., Scianca- 
Ferro had time to place a knee on the ground, so that it was 
in this respectful attitude he received the Emperor's present. 

" And now, " said the victor of Pavia, "it is right that 
every one have his share, even the page. ' ' 

And, drawing a diamond from his little finger, "Fair 
page," he said, "it is your turn." 

But to the great astonishment of Emmanuel Philibert, 
Scianca-Ferro, and all the spectators, Leone did not respond, 
and remained motionless in his place. 

"Oh, oh!" said Charles V., "we have a deaf page, it 
would seem." And shrugging his shoulders, "Come for- 
ward, fair page," he said. 

But instead of obeying, the page took a step backward. 

"Leone!" exclaimed Emmanuel, seizing the page's hand 
and attempting to lead him forward. 

But, wonderful to tell, Leone snatched away his hand, 
uttered a cry, and rushed from the place. 

"There is a page for you who is not covetous," said 
Charles Y. ' ' You must tell me where you are able to get 
such, fair nephew. The diamond I wished to give him is 
worth a thousand pistoles." 

Then, turning to his courtiers, "A good example to 
follow, gentlemen!" said Charles Y. 



ALL the efforts made by Emmanuel Philibert during 
their return to the Corsi palace, where he lodged 
with his father, could not induce Leone to tell, not 
only the cause of his refusal of the diamond, but the reason 
why, like a wild young falcon, he fled with a scream of 
terror. The child remained dumb, and no entreaty could 
draw a word from his lips on the subject. 


It was the same obstinacy the Duchess Beatrix made 
vain efforts to triumph over when she tried to obtain from 
the child some information about his mother, which he 
constantly refused to give. 

Only how could the Emperor Charles V. be concerned 
in the catastrophe that had struck the orphan page ? This 
was what it was impossible for Emmanuel Philibert to 
divine. However it might be, he preferred to find the 
whole world wrong, even his uncle, rather than for a mo- 
ment suspect Leone of inconsistency and levity. 

Two years had passed since the truce of Nice. It was 
a very long time for Frangois I. to keep his word. Conse- 
quently every one was astonished, and especially Charles 
Y., who during his interview with his brother-in-law could 
not help feeling anxious as to what the King of France 
would do when he, Charles Y., was no longer there to pro- 
tect the poor duke. 

And, in fact, scarcely had the Emperor set sail, when the 
Duke of Savoy, on his return to Nice, received a messenger 
from Frangois I. 

Frangois I. proposed to restore Savoy to his uncle, pro- 
vided the latter surrendered Piedmont and allowed it to be 
annexed to the crown of France. 

The duke, indignant at such a proposal, dismissed the 
messenger of his nephew, forbidding him to appear again 
in his presence. 

Who had inspired Frangois I. with this audacity of de- 
claring war a fourth time on the Emperor ? 

It was because he had two new allies, Luther and Soli- 
man, the Huguenots of Germany and the Saracens of Africa. 
Strange allies for the most Christian king, for the eldest son 
of the Church! 

Singular thing! During this long struggle between 
Frangois I. and Charles Y. it was the one who is styled 
the roi chevalier that was constantly breaking his word. 
After losing everything except honor on the battlefield of 
Pa via, he inflicted on this same honor, which had remained 


untouched in spite of defeat, an ineffaceable stain by signing 
in prison what he had no intention of keeping. 

And look at him now, this king whom historians ought 
to banish from history, as Christ chased the buyers and 
sellers from the Temple look at him, this soldier knighted 
by Bayard and cursed by Saint- Yallier; as soon as he has 
broken his word, he seems hurled into insanity: he is the 
friend of the Turk and the heretic ; he gives the right hand 
to Soliman and the left to Luther; he marches side by side 
with the son of Mahomet he, a son of Saint-Louis. There- 
fore, God, after sending him defeat, the daughter of His 
anger, sends him the plague, the daughter of His vengeance. 

All this does not prevent him being styled in books, at 
least in those of the historians, the roi chevalier / 

It is true we poets call Mm the infamous king, a perjurer 
of his word toward his enemies, a perjurer of his word to- 
ward his friends, a perjurer of his word to his Grod. 

This time, as soon as the answer of the Duke of Savoy 
was received, it was Nice that he threatened. 

The Duke of Savoy left in Nice a brave Savoyard knight 
named Odinet de Montfort, and retired to Verceil, where he 
drew together the few forces he could still dispose of. 

Emmanuel Philibert had solicited from his father the 
favor of remaining at Nice, and of making his first arms 
at once against Soliman and Fra^ois I. ; but the last heir 
of his house was too precious to the duke to permit of such 
a request being allowed. 

It was not the same with Scianca-Ferro ; permission was 
granted him, and he made good use of it. 

Scarcely were the duke, his son, Leone, and their suite 
some leagues from Nice, when a fleet of two hundred sail 
was seen flying French and Turkish flags. It landed in the 
port of Villa Franca ten thousand Turks commanded by 
Khair-Eddin, and twelve thousand French commanded 
by the Due d'Enghien. 

The siege was terrible ; the garrison defended itself des- 
perately. Every one, citizen, soldier, and gentleman, per- 


formed prodigies of valor. A breach was made in the city 
in ten several places. They were entered by Turks and 
Frenchmen; then every street, every lane, every house, 
was defended. Fire kept pace with the besiegers. Odinet 
de Montfort retired into the castle, leaving to the enemy 
a city in ruins. 

The next day, a herald summoned him to surrender; but 
he, shaking his head, answered: 

"Friend, you make a mistake in proposing to me such 
baseness. My name is Montfort; my arms are pales , and 
my motto, 11 faut tenir. ' ' 

Montfort was worthy of his motto, his arms, and his 
name. He held out until the arrival of the duke with four 
thousand Piedmontese, and of Alfonso of Avalos, on the 
part of the Emperor, with six thousand Spaniards, forced 
the Turks and French to raise the siege. 

It was high festival for Duke Charles and his subjects 
the day he returned to Nice, ruined though the city was. 
It was also high festival for Emmanuel Philibert and his 
squire. Scianca-Ferro had gained the name given him by 
Charles III. When his foster-brother asked him how it 
felt striking real cuirasses and real bucklers, "Bah!" he 
answered, "it is not so difficult as splitting oaks; it is not 
so hard as breaking rocks." 

"Oh, why was I not there!" murmured Emmanuel Phil- 
ibert, without perceiving that Leone, clinging to his arm, 
had turned pale in thinking of the dangers Scianca-Ferro 
had already run, and of those Emmanuel might run one day. 

It is true that some time after our poor page was fully 
reassured by the peace of Crespy, the result of the invasion 
of Provence by Charles V., as well as of the battle of 

Peace was signed on the 14th of October, 1544. It stip- 
ulated that Philippe d' Orleans, second son of Frangois I., 
should marry in two years the daughter of the Emperor, and 
receive as dowry the duchy of Milan and the Low Coun- 
tries ; that, on his side, the King of France should renounce 


his claims to the kingdom of Naples, and restore to the 
Duke of Savoy what he had taken from him, except the 
fortresses of Pignerol and Montmelian, which would remain 
united to the French territory as places of security. 

The treaty was to be executed in two years: that is to 
say, at the time of the marriage of the Due d' Orleans with 
the daughter of the Emperor. 

As we see, we have now arrived at the year 1545; the 
children had grown. Leone, the youngest of the three, was 
fourteen; Emmanuel was seventeen; Scianca-Ferro, the eld- 
est, was six months more than Emmanuel. 

What was passing in the heart of Leone, and why was 
the young man becoming sadder and sadder ? Questions 
vainly put to each other by Scianca and Emmanuel; ques- 
tions vainly put to Leone by Emmanuel. 

And, indeed, it was strange. The more Leone advanced 
in years, the less the young page followed the example of 
his two companions. Emmanuel, to make his surname of 
Cardinalin quite forgotten, and the squire to deserve more 
and more his surname of Scianca-Ferro, passed their entire 
days in sham battles ; the young lads, with sword or lance 
or axe ever in their hands, were rivals in address and 
strength. All that can be won by skill in the use of arms, 
Emmanuel had acquired; all the force and vigor God can 
give to human muscles, Scianca-Ferro had received from 

During this time, Leone would stand pensive on some 
tower from which he could see the exercises of the two 
youths, and follow Emmanuel with his eyes; or if their ex- 
citement carried them too far away, he took a book, retired 
to some distant corner of the garden, and read. 

The only thing Leone learned with joy and doubtless 
because he saw in it a means of following Emmanuel was 
to ride on horseback; but for some time, as his melancholy 
gradually increased, he renounced even this exercise. 

One thing especially that astonished Emmanuel was that 
at the idea he was soon to become a rich and puissant 


prince, the countenance of Leone became more and more 

On a certain day, the duke received a letter from the 
Emperor Charles V., in which there was question of a mar- 
riage between Emmanuel Philibert and the daughter of his 
brother, King Ferdinand. Leone was present at the read- 
ing of this letter; he could not dissemble the effect it pro- 
duced on him, and to the great astonishment of Duke 
Charles III. and of Scianca-Ferro, who sought in vain for 
the motives of such grief, he went out, sobbing wildly. 

As soon as Duke Charles returned to his apartments, 
Emmanuel rushed after his page. The sentiment he ex- 
perienced for Leone was strange, and in no way resembled 
that with which Scianca-Ferro inspired him. To save the 
life of Scianca-Ferro, he would have given his life; to spare 
the blood of his foster-brother, he would have given his 
own; but his life and his blood he would have given to 
arrest a tear trembling on the long dark eyelashes of Leone. 

Therefore, having seen him weep, he wished to know the 
cause of this grief. For more than a year he had perceived 
the growing sorrow of the young page, and he had often 
asked the cause of such sadness; but Leone had immedi- 
ately made an effort of self-control, had shaken his head, 
as if to chase away some gloomy thought, and replied with 
a smile: 

"I am too happy, Monseigneur Emmanuel, and I am 
always afraid such happiness may not last!" 

And Emmanuel in turn shook his head ; but as he per- 
ceived that too much importunity only seemed to render 
Leone more unhappy, he contented himself with taking 
his hands in his own and gazing on him fixedly, as if 
to question him in every sense. 

But Leone would slowly turn away his eyes, and gently 
withdraw his hands from Emmanuel. 

And Emmanuel would then sadly seek Scianca-Ferro, 
who did not even think of asking what was the matter, who 
never took it into his head to grasp hands and question with 


a look, so different was the friendship uniting Emmanuel to 
Scianca-Ferro from that uniting Emmanuel to Leone. 

But on that day Emmanuel vainly searched for the page 
for more than an hour in the castle and park; he did not 
find him. He questioned everybody ; none had seen Leone. 
At last he addressed one of the grooms; according to the 
latter, Leone had entered the church, and must be there 

Emmanuel ran to the church, took in at a glance the 
whole interior of the gloomy edifice, and saw Leone on his 
knees in the most retired corner of the darkest chapel. 

He approached him near enough almost to touch him 
without the page, lost in meditation, even suspecting his 
presence. Then he made a step forward and touched his 
shoulder, pronouncing his name. 

Leone started, and regarded Emmanuel with almost a 
scared expression. 

4 ' Pray what are you doing in this church at this hour, 
Leone?" asked Emmanuel, anxiously. 

"I am asking God," said Leone, sadly, "to grant me the 
strength to execute the plan which I am contemplating." 

"And what is this plan, child?" asked Emmanuel. 
"May I not know it?" 

"On the contrary, monseigneur, " replied Leone, "you 
shall be the first to know it. ' ' 

"You swear it to me, Leone?" 

"Alas, yes, monseigneur!" replied the young man, with 
a sad smile. 

Emmanuel took his hand and tried to draw him out of 
the church ; but Leone gently freed his hand, as he was ac- 
customed doing for some time now, and, kneeling again, 
begged the young duke to leave him alone. 

"By and by," he said; "just at present I want to be 
alone with Grod." 

There was something so solemn and melancholy in the 
tones of the young man that Emmanuel did not venture 
to resist. 


He left the church, but waited for Leone at the door. 

Leone started on perceiving him, and yet he did not 
seem astonished to find him there. 

"And shall I know this secret some day or other?" 
asked Emmanuel. 

"To-morrow I hope to have strength enough to tell it 
to you, monseigneur, " replied Leone. 


"In this church." 

"At what hour?" 

"Come at the same hour as to-day." 

"And in the meantime, Leone?" asked Emmanuel, en- 

4 ' In the meantime I hope that monseigneur will not force 
me to quit my chamber ; I need solitude and reflection. ' ' 

Emmanuel regarded the page with an inexpressible pang 
at the heart, and conducted him to the door of his chamber. 
Arrived there, Leone wished to take the hand of the prince 
and kiss it. Emmanuel, in turn, dropped his hand, threw 
his two arms around his comrade, and attempted to em- 
brace him; but Leone gently repulsed him, disengaged 
himself, and with an accent of unutterable sweetness and 
melancholy said 

' l To-morrow, monseigneur. ' ' 

And he entered his room. 

Emmanuel remained a moment motionless at the door. 
He heard Leone shooting the bolt. 

The chill of the iron as he heard seemed to penetrate to 
the depths of his soul. 

"My God!" he murmured quite low; "what is coming 
over me, and what is this I am feeling ?" 

"What the devil are you doing there?" said a rough 
voice behind him, while a vigorous hand was pressed on 
his shoulder. 

Emmanuel heaved a sigh, took the arm of Scianca-Ferro, 
and drew him into the garden. 

They sat down side by side on a bench. 


Emmanuel related to Scianca-Ferro all that had just 
passed between him and Leone. 

Scianca-Ferro reflected a moment, cast up his eyes, and 
bit his fist. 

Then suddenly, "I bet I know what's the matter," he 

"What is it then?" 

"Leone is in love!" 

It seemed to Emmanuel as if he had received a thrust 
through the heart. 

"Impossible!" he stammered. 

"And why impossible?" retorted Scianca-Ferro. "I am 
the same myself. ' ' 

"You! And with whom?" asked Emmanuel. 

"Eh, parbleuf with Gervaise, the daughter of the porter 
of the castle. She was terribly afraid during the siege, poor 
child, particularly when night came, and so to reassure her, 
I kept her with me. ' ' 

Emmanuel made a motion with his shoulders to signify 
that he was very sure that Leone did not love the daughter 
of a porter. 

Scianca-Ferro misinterpreted the gesture of Emmanuel, 
which he took for a mark of disdain. 

"Ah, Master Cardinalin!" he said (in spite of the collar 
of the Golden Fleece, at certain moments Scianca-Ferro 
still gave this title to Emmanuel), "you needn't be quite 
so dainty. As for me, I declare to you, I prefer Gervaise 
to all the beautiful ladies of the court. And should there 
be a tournament, I am ready to wear her colors and defend 
her beauty against all comers!" 

"I would pity those who would not be of your opinion, 
my dear Scianca-Ferro," replied Emmanuel. 

"And you are right; because I would strike as hard for 
the daughter of a porter as for the daughter of a king." 

Emmanuel rose, pressed Scianca-Ferro' s hand, and re- 
turned to his apartments. 

Decidedly, as he had said, Scianca-Ferro struck too hard 



to comprehend what was passing in the heart of Emmanuel, 
and to divine what was passing in the soul of Leone. 

As to Emmanuel, although endowed with a greater deli- 
cacy of feeling and a more exquisite susceptibility of spirit, 
he sought vainly in the solitude of his chamber and in the 
silence of the night, not only for what was passing in the 
soul of Leone, but for what was agitating his own heart. 

He therefore awaited the morrow impatiently. The 
morning slipped by slowly, without Emmanuel seeing 
Leone. When the hour came, he walked trembling to the 
church, as if something of the highest importance was about 
to be decided in his life. 

The treaty of Crespy, signed a year before, and which 
was to finally restore or take from him his states, had ap- 
peared to him of less gravity than the secret he was about 
to learn from Leone. 

He found the young man on the same spot as on the 
evening before. Without doubt he had been a long time 
praying. Still, his face gave evidence of a resignation full 
of sadness. 

Emmanuel went quickly up to him. Leone received him 
with a gentle, but melancholy smile. 

"Well?" asked Emmanuel. 

"Well, monseigneur, " replied Leone, "I have a favor to 
beg of you. ' ' 

"What is it, Leone?" 

"You see my weakness and unntness for all bodily exer- 
cises. In your almost royal future you require strong men 
like Scianca-Ferro, and not weak and timid children like 
me, monseigneur." Leone made an effort, and two big 
tears coursed down his cheeks. "Monseigneur, I beg of 
you the singular favor of allowing me to leave you. ' ' 

Emmanuel took a step backward. His life, begun be- 
tween Scianca-Ferro and Leone, had never presented itself 
to him in the future as deprived of either of these two 

"Leave me ?" he said to Leone in amazement. 

(5) Vol. 20 


Leone did not reply, and bent his head. 

"Leave me ?" repeated Emmanuel, with an accent of the 
most poignant sorrow. "You leave me! me! impossible!" 

"It is necessary," said Leone, in a voice almost unintel- 

Emmanuel, like one who feels himself becoming mad, 
bore his hand to his forehead, looked at the altar, and let 
his two arms fall inert along his body. 

For a few seconds, he questioned himself, then he ques- 
tioned God, and, as he received no response either from 
earth or heaven, he fell back discouraged. 

"Leave me!" he resumed for the third time, as if he 
could not grow accustomed to the word "me, who found 
you dying, Leone; me, who received you as a messenger 
from Providence; me, who have always treated you as a 
brother! Oh!" 

"It is for that very reason, monseigneur: it is because 
I owe you too much, and because in remaining near you 
I can make no return for what I owe you; it is because I 
wish to spend my whole life in prayer for my benefactor. ' ' 

"Pray for me!" said Emmanuel, more and more aston- 
ished. "And where?" 

"In some holy monastery, which seems a place much 
better suited for a poor orphan like me than that which 
I would occupy in a brilliant court such as yours is sure 
to be." 

"My mother, my poor mother!" murmured Emmanuel, 
"what would you say, you who loved him so well, if you 
heard this?" 

"In presence of that God who is listening to us," said 
Leone, placing his hand solemnly on the arm of the young 
prince "in presence of that God who is listening to us, she 
would say that I am right. ' ' 

There was such an accent of truth, such conviction of 
heart, if not of conscience, in the reply of Leone, that Em- 
manuel was shaken by it. 

"Leone," he said, "do what you wish, my child; you 


are free. I have tried to bind your heart; but I have never 
had the intention of binding your body. However, I ask 
you not to precipitate your resolution; take ei^ht days, 

"Oh," said Leone, "if I do not set out on the moment 
when God gives me strength to leave you, I shall never be 
able to do so ; and I tell you, ' ' continued the child, breaking 
into sobs, "I must depart." 

"Depart! But why, why depart?" 

To this question Leone replied by the same inflexible si- 
lence he had exhibited on two previous occasions the first, 
when at the village of Oleggio the duchess had questioned 
him on his parents and his birth; the second, when at Genoa 
Emmanuel wished to know why he refused the diamond of 
Charles V. 

He was about to insist on an answer when he heard a step 
in the church. 

It was one of his father's servants, who announced that 
Duke Charles desired to see him on the instant. 

Important news had just been received from France. 

"You see, Leone," said Emmanuel to the child, "I must 
leave you now; I will see you again in the evening, and if 
you persist in your resolution, well, you shall be free, my 
child. You may leave me to-morrow, or even this evening, 
if you believe you ought to remain with me no longer. ' ' 

Leone did not reply; he fell on his knees with a deep 
groan. It looked as if his heart were broken. 

Emmanuel departed; but before leaving the church, he 
could not help turning his head two or three times to learn 
if the child felt as much pain in seeing him depart as he felt 
in departing. 

Leone remained alone and prayed for another hour ; then 
he grew calmer and returned to his chamber. In the ab- 
sence of Emmanuel, his resolution, tottering in the presence 
of the young prince, became more firm, being strengthened 
by that angel with the heart of ice whom men call reason. 

But once in his chamber, the idea that Emmanuel might 


appear at any moment and make a final attempt to move 
him, disturbed the child. 

At every noise he heard on the staircase, he started; the 
footsteps resounding in the corridor seemed, when passing 
before his door, to be treading on his heart. 

Two hours glided past; a step was heard. Oh, this time 
Leone had no longer any doubt; he had recognized the 

The door opened, and Emmanuel appeared. He was sad, 
and yet in his look there was a blending of joy with this 
sadness. ''Well, Leone," he asked, after closing the door, 
"have you reflected?" 

" Monseigneur, " replied Leone, "when you left me, my 
reflections were already made. ' ' 

"So that you persist in abandoning me ?" 

Leone had not the strength to reply; he contented him- 
self with making a sign of the head in the affirmative. 

"And this," continued Emmanuel, with a melancholy 
smile "and this, because I am going to be a great prince 
and to have a brilliant court ?" 

Leone inclined his head anew. 

"Well," said Emmanuel, with a certain bitterness, "on 
this point you may be reassured. I am to-day more miser- 
able than I have ever been!" 

Leone raised his head, and Emmanuel could see the 
amazement in his beautiful eyes shine through his tears. 

"The second son of the King of France, the Due d' Or- 
leans, is dead," said Emmanuel, "so that the treaty of 
Crespy is broken. ' ' 

"And and?" asked Leone, questioning Emmanuel with 
every muscle of his face. 

"And," returned Emmanuel, "as the Emperor Charles 
V. , my unclt, will not give the duchy of Milan to my cousin 
Frangois I., my cousin Frangois I. will not restore his states 
to my father. ' ' 

"But," asked Leone with an indescribable feeling of an- 
guish, "that marriage with the daughter of Ferdinand, that 


marriage proposed by the Emperor himself that marriage 
will take place?" 

"Ah! my poor Leone, the man whom the Emperor 
Charles V. wished as the husband of his niece was Count 
of Bresse, Duke of Savoy, and Prince of Piedmont; it was, 
in fine, a crowned husband, not poor Emmanuel Philibert, 
who out of all his states retains only the city of Nice, the 
valley of Aosta, and a few patches scattered here and there 
through Savoy and Piedmont." 

"Oh!" cried Leone, with a feeling of joy he could not 
stifle. But, almost immediately recovering that powerful 
control over himself that threatened to escape him, "No 
matter, monseigneur; this must not change anything of 
what was arranged," he said. 

"And so," asked Emmanuel, sadder and gloomier at 
this resolution of the child than he had been at the news 
of the loss of his states, "you quit me forever, Leone?" 

"It is as necessary to-day as it was yesterday, Em- 
manuel. ' ' 

"Yesterday, Leone, I was rich, I was powerful, I had a 
ducal crown on my head; to-day, I am poor, despoiled, and 
have nothing left but my sword. In leaving me yesterday 
you would be only cruel; leaving me to-day, you will be 
ungrateful. Adieu, Leone." 

"Ungrateful!" exclaimed Leone; "0 God! you hear 
him; he says I am ungrateful." 

Then, as with bent brows and gloomy eye, the young 
prince was preparing to leave the chamber 

"Oh, Emmanuel!" cried Leone, "do not quit me thus; 
it would kill me!" 

Emmanuel turned round; the arms of the child were 
stretched out to him. Leone was pale, tottering, almost 

He rushed forward and supported him in his arms, and, 
carried away by the first impulse an impulse he could not 
account for he pressed his lips on the lips of his companion. 

Leone uttered a cry as agonizing as if a red-hot iron had 


touched them, fell backward, and fainted. The button of 
his doublet was pressing on his throat; Emmanuel opened 
it. Then, as the child was stifling in his arms, he tore it off, 
and at the same time to give him air opened all the buttons 
of his vest; but this time it was Emmanuel who uttered a 
cry, not of sorrow, but of surprise, astonishment, and joy. 

Leone was a woman. 

After returning to consciousness, Leone existed no longer ; 
but Leona was the mistress of Emmanuel Philibert. 

From that time there was no longer question for the poor 
child of separating from her lover, to whom now everything 
was clear without a word of explanation sadness, solitude, 
and desire of flight. Perceiving that she loved Emmanuel 
Philibert, Leona had wished to be separated from him; .but 
the moment the young man had taken possessioniof her love, 
Leona gave him her life. 

In the eyes of every one else, the page continued to be a 
young man, and was called Leone. For Emmanuel Phili- 
bert alone, Leone was a beautiful young girl, and was called 

As a prince, Emmanuel Philibert lost Bresse, Piedmont, 
and Savoy, with the exception of the valley of Aosta, and 
the cities of Nice and Verceil; but as a man he lost nothing, 
since God gave him Scianca-Ferro and Leona; that is to say, 
the two most magnificent presents in the gift of heaven that 
God can bestow on one of his elect devotion and love. 



LET us now tell in a few lines all that passed during 
the period of time elapsing between this period and 
the one we have reached at present. 
Emmanuel Philibert had said to Leone that he had 
nothing left but his sword. 


The league of the Protestants of Germany, raised by John 
Frederick, Elector of Saxony, who was disturbed by the suc- 
cessive encroachments of the Empire, had, on breaking out, 
given the young prince an opportunity of offering that sword 
to Charles Y. 

This time it was accepted. 

The pretext was that, as long as the Emperor lived, his 
brother Ferdinand could not be King of the Eomans. 

The league was formed in the little town of Smalkalde, 
situated in the county of Henecery, and belonging to the 
Landgrave of Hesse; hence the name of League of Smalkalde, 
under which it is known. 

Henry VIII. had a scruple, and kept apart from it; Fran- 
gois I. , on the contrary, entered into it with all his heart. 

The thing was of old date; it dated from the 22d of De- 
cember, 1530, the day of the first meeting. 

Soliman was also in the league. In fact, he lent his aid 
to it by sending troops to besiege Messina in 1532; but 
Charles V. had marched against him with an army of 
ninety thousand foot- soldiers and thirty thousand cavalry, 
and forced him to raise the siege. 

Then, the plague assisting him, he had destroyed the 
army of Frangois I. in Italy, so that, on one side, had in- 
tervened the treaty of Cambrai, the 5th of August, 1529, 
and on the other the treaty of Nuremberg, the 23d of July, 
1532, which had given a few moments of repose to Europe. 

We know already how long treaties made with Frangois 
I. lasted. The treaty of Nuremberg was broken, and the 
league of Smalkalde, which had had time to reunite all 
its forces, broke out. 

The Emperor marched in person against the Smalkal- 
dists. What was passing in Germany always seemed to 
affect more peculiarly what was passing elsewhere. 

It was because Charles V. understood that since the de- 
cadence of the Papacy, the greatest power in this world was 
the Empire. 

It was in these circumstances that Emmanuel Philibert 


set out for Worms on the 27th of May, 1545, where the Em- 
peror was staying. The young prince was, as usual, accom- 
panied by Scianca-Ferro and Leone. 

He was attended by forty gentlemen. 

It was all the army his father could raise in his states and 
send to the Emperor he who still bore the titles of Duke of 
Savoy, Chablais, and Aosta; Prince of Piedmont, Achaia, 
and the Morea; Count of Geneva, Nice, Asti, Bresse, and 
Eomont; Baron of Vaud, (rex, and Faucigny; Lord of Ver- 
ceil, Beaufort, Bugey, and Freibourg; Prince and Perpetual 
Vicar of the Holy Empire; Marquis of Italy and King of 

Charles V. received his nephew most affectionately. He 
permitted him to bear the title of Majesty in his presence, 
on account of that kingdom of Cyprus to which his father 
laid claim. 

Emmanuel Philibert repaid this kindly reception by per- 
forming prodigies of valor at the battles of Ingolstadt and 

The last ended the struggle. Ten of the forty gentlemen 
of Emmanuel Philibert were absent from the roll-call in the 
evening; they were dead or wounded. 

As to Scianca-Ferro, recognizing the elector John Fred- 
rick in the midst of the battle by his powerful Friesland 
horse, his gigantic figure, and the terrible blows which he 
struck, he had kept particularly close to him. 

Certainly the young man would have won on that day 
the name of Scianca-Ferro, if it had not been given him 

With a blow of his terrible battle-axe, he broke the right 
arm of the prince, then with the blade of the same weapon 
he cut his helmet and face at the same time ; so that when 
the prisoner raised the mutilated visor of this same helmet 
in presence of the Emperor, he had to name himself. He 
was no longer recognizable; his face was one frightful 

Fran9ois I. had died a month before. When dying, he 



said to his son that all the misfortunes of France had come 
from his alliance with the Protestants and the Turks, and, 
recognizing that Charles V. had the Almighty God on his 
side, he recommended the future King of France to keep 
on good terms with him. 

There was then an interval of peace, during which Em- 
manuel Philibert went to see his father at Verceil. The 
interview was tender and full of deep affection; doubtless 
the Duke of Savoy had a presentiment that he was embrac- 
ing his son for. the last time. 

The recommendation of Frangois I. to Henri II. did not 
leave a deep impression in the heart of the latter a king 
without military genius, but with warlike instincts and 
the war was renewed on account of the assassination of 
the Duke of Placentia, that Paul Louis Farnese of whom 
we have already spoken. 

He was assassinated in Placentia in 1548, by Pallavicini, 
Landi, Anguisuola and Gronfalonieri, who immediately after 
the assassination placed the city in the hands of Ferdinand 
of Gronzague, the Milanese governor of Charles Y. 

On the other hand, Octavio Farnese, second son of Paul 
III., had taken possession of Parma, and, in order not to 
be forced to surrender it, had invoked the protection of 
Henri II. 

Now during the life of Paul Louis even, Charles V. had 
never ceased to claim Parma and Placentia as forming parts 
of the duchy of Milan. 

The reader will call to mind the differences he had on 
this subject with Paul III. 

Nothing more was required to rekindle the war, which 
flamed up at the same time in Italy and the Low Countries. 

It was in Flanders, as always, that Charles Y. made his 
greatest efforts. It was then quite naturally that our eyes, 
on the lookout for Emmanuel Philibert, were turned toward 
the north at the beginning of this book. 

We have told how, after the siege of Metz and the cap- 
ture of Therouanne and Hesdin, the Emperor, charging his 


nephew to rebuild the latter city, had named him Com- 
mander-in-chief of his armies in Flanders and Governor 
of the Low Countries. 

Then, as if to counterbalance this great honor, an inef- 
fable sorrow struck the heart of Emmanuel Philibert. On 
the 17th of September, 1553, his father, the Duke of Savoy, 

It is with this rank of commander- in- chief, and this sor- 
row which, if not denoted by his garb, as in the case of 
Hamlet, was not the less imprinted on his features, that 
we have seen him issuing from the imperial camp; and it 
is after enforcing his authority as Eomulus enforced his that 
we see him return to it. 

A messenger from Charles V. was waiting for him at the 
entrance to his tent; the Emperor desired to speak to him 
that very moment, 

Emmanuel at once leaped from the saddle, threw the bri- 
dle to one of his men, nodded to his squire and page as a 
sign that he would meet them after his return, unbuckled 
his sword, and placed it under his arm, as he was accus- 
tomed to do when he walked, wishing at need to always 
have the hilt within reach of his hand, and then took his 
way to the tent of the modern Caesar. 

The sentry presented arms, and he entered, preceded by 
the messenger who was going to announce his arrival to the 

The field tent of the Emperor was divided into four 
compartments, without reckoning a kind of antechamber, 
or rather portico supported by four pillars. 

These four compartments of the imperial tent served as a 
dining-room, parlor, bedchamber and office. Each of them 
had been furnished by the gift of a city, and adorned with 
the trophy of a victory. 

The only trophy of the Emperor's bedchamber was the 
sword of Frangois I. hanging at the head of his bed. The 
trophy was simple enough, the reader may well think; but 
it had more value in the eyes of Charles V., who carried it 


with him even into the monastery of Saint- Just, than all the 
trophies of the other three rooms united. 

He who writes these lines has often, with a sad and mel- 
ancholy look toward the past, held and drawn this sword, 
once held by Franois I., who surrendered it; by Charles 
V., who received it; and by Napoleon, who recovered it. 

Strange nothingness of the things of this world ! 

Having become almost the sole dowry of a beautiful but 
fallen princess, it is to-day the property of a servant of 
Catherine II. 

O Fransois I. ! O Charles V. ! O Napoleon! 

In the antechamber, although he barely crossed it, Em- 
manuel Philibert with that glance of the born ruler of men 
that takes in everything in a second remarked a man whose 
hands were tied behind his back, and who was guarded by 
four soldiers. 

The man, thus bound, was clad like a peasant. As his 
head was uncovered, Emmanuel Philibert saw reason to con- 
clude that neither his hair nor complexion were in harmony 
with his garb. 

He thought it was a French spy they had just arrested, 
and that the Emperor had summoned him in connection with 
this spy. 

Charles Y. was in his cabinet; the duke was introduced 
as soon as he was announced. 

Charles Y. , born along with the sixteenth century, was 
at this time a man of fifty-five years, not tall, but vigorous; 
his keen eyes sparkled under the eyebrows, but only when 
they were not dulled by pain. His hair was grizzled, but 
his beard, more thick than long, was of an ardent red. 

He was lying on a sort of Turkish divan covered with 
Eastern stuffs that had been captured in the tent of Soliman 
before Yienna. 

Within reach of his hand gleamed a trophy of kandjars 
and Arabian cimeters. He was muffled up in a long dress- 
ing-gown of black velvet. His visage was gloomy; and he 
appeared to be waiting impatiently for Emmanuel Philibert. 


However, when the duke was announced, this expression of 
impatience disappeared on the instant, even as a cloud which 
darkens the brightness of the day disappears at the touch of 
the north wind. 

During a reign of forty years, the Emperor had had time 
to learn to compose his countenance, and it must be said 
that none was more skilful in this art. 

Still, at the first glance he cast on the Emperor, Emman- 
uel understood that he was about to converse with him on 
grave matters. 

Charles V., as soon as he perceived his nephew, turned 
his head in his direction, and, making an effort to change 
his position, gave him a friendly greeting with head and 

Emmanuel Philibert bowed respectfully. 

The Emperor opened the conversation in Italian. This 
sovereign, who regretted all his life not to know Greek and 
Latin, spoke equally well five living languages Italian, 
Spanish, French, English and Flemish. "I learned Ital- 
ian," he said, "to speak to the Pope; Spanish to speak to 
my mother Juana; English to speak to my aunt Catherine; 
Flemish to speak to my fellow-citizens and friends; in fine, 
French to speak to myself." 

Whatever hurry he might be in to discuss affairs with 
those he summoned near him, the Emperor always began 
by saying a few words in their own language. "Well," 
he asked in Italian, "what news from the camp?" 

"Sire," replied Emmanuel, employing the same language 
that Charles Y. used, and which, for that matter, was his 
mother tongue, "news which your Majesty would soon learn, 
even if I did not bring it myself. This news is that, in order 
to have my title and authority respected, I have been forced 
to make a terrible example. ' ' 

"A terrible example!" vaguely answered the Emperor, 
who had already become absorbed in his own thoughts; 
"and what was it?" 

Emmanuel Philibert began the recital of what took place 


between him and Count Wai deck ; but important as was the 
narrative, it was evident the Emperor was only listening with. 
his ears: his mind was elsewhere. 

"Well?" said Charles V., for the third time, when Em- 
manuel Philibert had finished. 

Plunged, as he was, in his own thoughts, he had in all 
probability not heard a single word of the report which his 
general had made him/ 

In fact, during all the time the narrative lasted, the 
Emperor, doubtless to hide his preoccupation, was looking 
at the fingers of his right hand, twisted and deformed by 
the gout. 

That was the true enemy of Charles V. a far deadlier 
enemy than Soliman or Frangois I. or Henri II. ! 

The gout and Luther were the two enemies that troubled 
him incessantly ; so he placed them both in the same rank. 

' ' Ah ! except for Luther and the gout, ' ' he would some- 
times say, taking a fistful of his red beard as he descended 
from his horse, exhausted by some long march or some ter- 
rible battle "except for Luther and the gout, how I should 
sleep to-night!" 

There was a moment's silence between the narrative of 
Emmanuel Philibert and the resumption of the conversation 
by the Emperor. 

At last, the latter, turning to his nephew 

"I, too, have news to give you, and bad news!" 

"From where, august emperor?" 

"From Kome." 

"Is the Pope elected?" 


"And his name?" 

"Peter Caraffa. The one he replaces, Emmanuel, was 
just my own age, born the same year Marcellus II. Poor 
Marcellus! Does not his death tell me to prepare to die?" 

"Sire," said Emmanuel, "I do not think you ought to 
allow your mind to dwell on this event, or to judge the 
death of Marcellus from the standpoint of an ordinary 


death. Marcello Cervino, the cardinal, was healthy, ro- 
bust, and might perhaps have lived a hundred years. 
Cardinal Marcello Cervino, become Pope Marcellus II., 
died in twenty days!" 

"Yes, I know," replied Charles V., pensively; "he 
was also in too great a hurry to be pope. He had him- 
self crowned with the tiara on Good Friday ; that is to say, 
on the day on which our Lord was crowned with thorns. 
It brought him misfortune. So I am less preoccupied by 
his death than by the election of Paul IV." 

4 ' And yet, if I am not mistaken, ' ' replied Emmanuel, 
"Paul IV. is a Neapolitan; that is to say, a subject of 
your Majesty." 

"Yes, undoubtedly. But I have always had bad reports 
of this cardinal, and while he_was at the court of Spain I 
have had personal reasons to complain of him. Ah!" con- 
tinued Charles V., with an expression of utter weariness, 
"I shall have to begin again with- him the struggle I have 
sustained for twenty years with his predecessors, and I am 
at the end of my strength. ' ' 

"Oh, sire!" 

Charles V. fell into a kind of revery, from which he 
emerged almost immediately. 

"For that matter," he added, as if speaking to himself, 
and with a sigh, "perhaps he will deceive me as the other 
popes have deceived me. They are always the very reverse 
of what they were as cardinals. I thought the Medicis 
Clement VII. a man of peaceful spirit, firm and constant; 
good! No sooner is he pope than I find I have been mis- 
taken on all points; he is a restless, turbulent, variable 
spirit. On the other hand, I imagined Julius III. would 
neglect business for pleasure, and would be engrossed in 
diversions and amusements. Peccato! there never has been 
a more industrious and diligent pope, or one caring less for 
the joys of this world. What work he cut out for us, he 
and Cardinal Pole, in connection with the marriage of 
Philip and his cousin Mary Tudor! If we had not arrested 


that madman Pole at Augsburg, who knows if to-day the 
marriage would have been consummated ? Ah, poor Mar- 
cellus!" said the Emperor, heaving a second sigh, still more 
expressive than the first, "it was n t because you were 
crowned on Good Friday that you survived your enthron- 
ing only twenty days; it was because you were my friend!" 

"Let us wait, august emperor," said Emmanuel Phili- 
bert: "your Majesty acknowledges that you have been de- 
ceived with regard to Clement VII. and Julius III. ; perhaps 
you may also be deceived with regard to Paul IV." 

"G-od grant it! but I doubt." 

A noise was heard at the door. 

"What is the matter?" demanded Charles V., impa- 
tiently. "I gave directions that I was to be disturbed by 
nobody. See, Emmanuel, what is wanted. " 

The duke raised the tapestry in front of the door, ex- 
changed a question and answer with the persons in the 
neighboring compartment, and, turning toward the em- 

"Sire," said he, "it is a courier from Spain, from Tor- 
desillas. " 

' ' Let him enter ; news of my good mother, no doubt. ' ' 

The messenger appeared. 

"Yes. Have you not news of my mother ?" said Charles 
V. , addressing the messenger in Spanish. 

The messenger, without answering, tendered a letter to 
Emmanuel Philibert, who took it from his hand. 

"Give it to me, Emmanuel; give it to me!" said the 
Emperor. "And she is well, is she not?" 

The messenger continued to keep silence. Emmanuel, 
on his side, hesitated to give the letter to Charles V. : it had 
a black seal ; Charles V. saw the seal, and shuddered. 

"Ah!" he said, "you see the election of Paul IV. brings 
me misfortune already. Give it to me," he continued, hold- 
ing out his hand to Emmanuel. 

Emmanuel obeyed; to have delayed longer would have 
been puerile. 


"August sovereign," said he, on handing over the letter, 
"remember, you are a man!" 

" Yes, " replied Charles V. ; "that is what they used to say 
to the Eoman generals who were honored with triumphs. ' ' 

And, trembling, he opened the letter. 

It contained only a few lines; yet to read it he had to 
return to it two or three times. 

The tears hindered him from seeing; his eyes, worn and 
parched by ambition, were themselves astonished at this 
miracle; they had again found tears. 

When he had finished, he handed the letter to Em- 
manuel Philibert, who took it from him, and fell back on 
the divan. 

"Dead!" he said "dead on the 13th of April, 1555, the 
very day Peter Caraffa was named pope ! Ah ! my son, did 
I not tell you this man would bring me misfortune ?" 

Emmanuel had cast his eyes over the letter. It was 
signed by the royal notary of Tordesillas; it, in fact, an- 
nounced the death of Juana of Castile, mother of Charles 
Y., better known in history by the name of Juana the -Mad. 

He remained a moment motionless in presence of this 
great sorrow, which he did not know how to deal with, for 
Charles Y. adored his mother. 

"Augustus," he murmured at last, "remember all you 
had the goodness to say to me when I also had the mis- 
fortune, two years ago, to lose my father. ' ' 

"Yes, yes, such things are said," returned the Emperor, 
"good reasons are found for the consolation of others, and 
then, when our turn comes, we are powerless to console 

"And so 1 do not console you, Augustus," said Em- 
manuel; "on the contrary, I say, Weep, weep, for you are 
only a man!" 

"What a painful life was hers, Emmanuel!" said Charles 
Y. "In 1496 she marries my father, Philip the Fair; she 
adored him ! In 1506 he dies, poisoned from drinking a 
glass of water while playing tennis; she becomes mad with 


grief. For ten years she awaited the resurrection of her 
husband, which a Carthusian monk had promised her in 
order to console her; and for ten years she never left Tor- 
desillas, except when, in 1516, she came to me at Villa- 
Viciosa, and with her own hands placed the crown of Spain 
on my head. Mad with the love which she had had for her 
husband, she only recovered her reason when she had to 
occupy herself with her son. Poor mother! All my reign 
will at least bear witness to the respect I had for her. 
Nothing of importance has been done in Spain for the last 
forty years without her advice on the matter being taken 
not that she was always in a condition to give it; but it was 
my duty as a son to act thus, and I fulfilled it. Do you 
know that, though a Spaniard, and a good Spaniard at 
that, she came to Flanders for her accouchement, in order 
that I might be one day emperor in place of my grandfather 
Maximilian? Do you know that, although the best of 
mothers, she renounced the privilege of suckling me, lest, 
being nourished by her milk, I might be accused of being 
too Spanish ? And, in fact, the two principal titles to which 
I owe the imperial crown are being a foster-child of Anne 
Sterel, and being a citizen of Ghent. Well, from before my 
birth, my mother had foreseen all this. And what can I do 
for her after her death order for her a splendid funeral ? 
She will have it. But, in truth, to be Emperor of Germany, 
King of Spain, Naples, Sicily, and the two Indias, to have 
an empire on which, according to my flatterers, the sun 
never sets, and to be able to do nothing for one's mother 
except to give her a splendid funeral! Ah, Emmanuel, 
the power of the most powerful man is very limited 

At this moment the hangings at the door of the tent 
were raised anew; and, through the opening, an officer was 
seen, all covered with dust, and seeming also to be the 
bearer of urgent news. 

The expression on the Emperor's countenance was so sad 
that the usher, who had ventured to disregard the counter- 


sign in view of the importance of the news brought by the 
third messenger, and to enter the cabinet of Charles V., 
stopped short. 

"Enter!" said Charles, in Flemish; "what is the 

"Sire," said the messenger, "King Henri II. has opened 
a campaign at the head of three armies: the first, com- 
manded* by himself, having under his orders Conne'table 
Montmorency; the second, commanded by Marechal de 
Saint- Andre, and the third commanded by the Due de 
Nevers. " 

"And what next?" asked the Emperor. 

"Next, sire, the King of France has laid siege to Marien- 
bourg, and taken it; he is now marching on Bouvines. " 

"And on what day did he lay siege to Marienbourg ?" 
said Charles. 

"On the 13th of April last, sire." 

Charles Y. turned round to Emmanuel Philibert. 

"Well," he asked him in French, "what do you say of 
the date, Emmanuel?" 

"A fatal date, indeed!" replied the latter. 

"That is sufficient," said Charles V. to the messenger; 
4 'leave us." 

Then, to the usher 

"Take as much care of that captain as if he brought us 
good news," said the emperor. "Go!" 

This time Emmanuel Philibert did not wait for the Em- 
peror to .question him. Before even the hangings fell again, 
he began 

"Luckily," said he, "if we can do nothing, august em- 
peror, against the election of Paul IV. : if we can do noth- 
ing against the death of your beloved mother we can do 
something against the taking of Marienbourg." 

"And what can we do?" 

"Take it back again!" 

"Yes, you may, not I, Emmanuel." 

"Why not you?" said the Prince of Piedmont 


Charles V. raised himself from the divan, and, drawing 
himself up with difficulty, attempted to walk; but he could 
only take a few steps, limping. 

He shook his head, and, turning to his nephew 

"See, look at my legs," he said: "they no longer sus- 
tain me now, either on foot or horseback; look at my hands; 
they can no longer hold a sword. There is a saying, Em- 
manuel, that he who can no longer hold a sword can no 
longer hold a sceptre." 

"What are you saying, sire?" exclaimed Emmanuel, 

' l A thing of which I have often thought, and of which 
I shall think again. Emmanuel, everything warns me that 
it is time to leave my place to another: the surprise of Inns- 
pruck, from which I had to fly half -naked; the retreat of 
Metz, where I left the third of rny army and the half of my 
reputation; yet, more than all that, look you, this disease 
which human strength cannot long resist ; this disease which 
medicine cannot cure; this frightful, inexorable, cruel dis- 
ease, which invades the body from the crown of the head 
to the soles of the feet, which contracts the nerves with 
intolerable pains, which penetrates the bones, freezes the 
marrow, and converts into solid chalk .the beneficent oil 
spread through our joints to facilitate their movements; 
this disease, which mutilates a man lirnb by limb more 
cruelly, more surely, than does steel or fire or all the im- 
plements of war, and which breaks the strength and serenity 
of the soul under the tortures of matter this disease is in- 
cessantly crying out to rne: 'You have had enough of power, 
enough of sovereignty ! Return into the nothingness of life 
before returning into the nothingness of the tomb ! Charles, 
by the grace of God, Emperor of the Romans, Charles, King 
of Germany, Castile, Leon, Granada, Aragon, Naples, Sicily, 
Majorca, Sardinia, and the islands and Indias of both oceans, 
make way for another, for another!' ' 
Emmanuel wished to speak. 
The Emperor arrested him by a gesture. 


"And then, and then," continued Charles V., "there is 
another thing I had forgotten to tell you ! As if the disso- 
lution of this poor body was too slow for the wishes of my 
enemies, as if defeats and heresies and the gout were not 
sufficient, the poniard has come to play a part in the 

"How, the poniard?" exclaimed Emmanuel. 

The face of Charles V. was overcast. 

"An attempt was made to assassinate me to-day, " he said. 

"An attempt to assassinate your Majesty?" cried Em- 
manuel, terrified. 

"Why not?" replied the Emperor, with a smile. "Have 
you not just now reminded me that I was a man ?" 

"Oh!" cried .Emmanuel, scarcely recovering from the 
emotion this intelligence had caused him; "and who is 
the wretch?" 

"Ah! yes, indeed!" said the Emperor. "Who is the 
wretch? I hold the poniard, but not the hand!" 

"In fact," said Emmanuel, "I just now saw a man 
bound in the antechamber " 

"That is the wretch, as you call him, Emmanuel. But 
who has employed him ? The Turk ? I do not believe so ; 
Soliman is a loyal enemy. Henri II. ? I do not even sus- 
pect him. Paul IV.? He has not been long enough elected; 
and then the popes they generally prefer poison to the 
dagger: Ecclesia, abhorret a sanguine. Octavio Farnese ? He 
is too paltry a person to venture on attacking me the im- 
perial bird that Maurice did not dare to take, not being 
acquainted, he said, with a cage large enough to hold him. 
The Lutherans of Augsburg or the Calvinists of Geneva ? 
I am altogether puzzled: and yet I should like to know 
Listen, Emmanuel, this man has refused to answer my ques- 
tions; take him into your tent and question him in your 
turn. Do with him wh'atever you please; I give him to 
you. But understand well he must be made to speak. 
The nearer the enemy is to me, and the more powerful he 
is, the greater need I have to know him. ' ' 


Then, after a moment's pause, lie fixed his gaze on Em- 
manuel Philibert, who held his eyes pensively bent toward 
the ground. 

"By the way," he said, "your cousin Philip has arrived 
at Brussels. ' ' 

The transition was so abrupt that Emmanuel started. 
He raised his head, and his glance met that of the Emperor. 
This time he shuddered. 

"Well?" he asked. 

' ' Well, ' ' returned Charles, ' ' I shall be happy to see my 
son again. Would you not say that he guesses the hour 
is come and the moment favorable for him to succeed me ? 
But before I see him again, Emmanuel, I recommend my 
assassin to you. ' ' 

"In an hour," replied Emmanuel, "your Majesty shall 
know all you desire to know. ' ' 

And, bowing to the Emperor, who offered him his muti- 
lated hand, Emmanuel Philibert withdrew, convinced that 
the thing of which Charles Y. had spoken to him as if it 
were a mere casual remark introduced into the conversa- 
tion, was, of all the events of the day, the one to which he 
attached the most importance. 



ON RETIRING-, Emmanuel Philibert cast a fresh look 
on the prisoner, and this look confirmed him in his 
first idea; that is to say, that he was going to deal 
with a gentleman. He made a sign to the leader of the four 
soldiers to approach him. 

"My friend," he said, "in five minutes you will, by order 
of the Emperor, conduct this man into my tent. ' ' 

Emmanuel might have dispensed with naming Charles 
V. : it was known that the latter had delegated to him all 


his powers; and, in general, the soldiers, who worshipped 
him, would have obeyed him as they would have obeyed 
the Emperor himself. 

' ' Your order shall be executed, your Highness, ' ' replied 
the sergeant. 

The duke resumed the road to his lodgings. 

The tent of Emmanuel was not, like that of the Emperor, 
a splendid pavilion, divided into four compartments ; it was 
the tent of a soldier cut in two by a piece of mere canvas. 

Scianca-Ferro was seated at the door. 

"Kemain where you are," said Emmanuel to him; "but 
take some weapon or other. ' ' 

"Why?" asked Scianca-Ferro. 

' ' A man is about to be brought hither who has attempted 
to assassinate the Emperor. I intend to question him with- 
out any witnesses. Look well at him when he enters; and, 
if he attempts to violate the pledge, which he will doubtless 
give, by trying to escape, stop him but living, you under- 
stand ? It is important that he live ! ' ' 

"Then," said Scianca-Ferro, "I do not need weapons; 
my arms are sufficient. ' ' 

" Do as you like ; you are warned. ' ' 

1 ' Do not be disturbed about the matter, ' ' said Scianca- 

The prince entered his tent, and found Leone, or rather 
Leona, waiting for him. As he returned alone, and as the 
curtain of his tent fell behind him, Leona came to meet him 
with open arms. 

' l You are here at last, my love ! My God ! what a terri- 
ble scene was that at which we have been present ! Alas ! 
you were quite right in telling me that my emotion and 
paleness would lead one to take me for a woman." 

"What would you have, Leona? These are ordinary 
scenes in the life of a soldier, and you ought to be accus- 
tomed to them by this time." Then, smiling, "Look at 
Scianca-Ferro, and take him for your model," he added. 

"How can you utter such words as those with a smile, 


Emmanuel? Scianca-Ferro is a man: he loves you as much 
as a man can love a man, as I well know; but I love you, 
Emmanuel, to a degree that cannot be expressed, as some- 
thing without which one no longer lives ! I love you as the 
flower loves the dew, as the bird loves the forest, as the 
dawn loves the sun. With you 1 live, exist, and love; 
without you I am no more ! ' ' 

"My own darling," said Emmanuel, "yes, I know you 
are at the same time grace, devotion, and love; I know that 
you move beside me, but that it is really in me that you 
live, and so for you I have no mysteries or secrets. ' ' 

"Why do you say this?" 

"Because a man is about to be brought hither; because 
this man is a great criminal whom I wish to question; be- 
cause he will perhaps make important revelations who 
knows ? revelations that may compromise the highest 
personages. Pass to that side of the tent. Listen if you 
wish; whatever I hear will, I know, be heard by myself 
alone. ' ' 

Leona shrugged her shoulders. "Except you, " she said, 
"what is the rest of the world to me ?" 

And the young girl, sending a caress to her lover with 
her hand, disappeared behind the curtain. 

It was time ; the five minutes were passed, and, with the 
usual military punctuality, the sergeant arrived, conducting 
his prisoner. 

Emmanuel received him seated, and half lost in the 
shadow. From the midst of this shadow he cast a third 
look, deeper and more prolonged, on the prisoner. 

He was a young man of from thirty to thirty-five. His 
stature was so lofty and his face so distinguished that his 
disguise, as we have said, had not prevented Emmanuel 
Philibert from recognizing him as a gentleman. 

"Leave the gentleman alone with me," said the prince 
to the sergeant. 

The sergeant could only obey; he went out with his 
three men. 


The prisoner fixed his keen and piercing eye on Em- 
manuel Philibert. 

The latter rose, and went straight up to him. "Sir," 
said he, "those people did not know with whom they had 
to do, and so they have bound you. You are going to give 
me your word of honor not to attempt to escape, and I am 
going to untie your hands. ' ' 

"lam a peasant, and not a gentleman," said the mur- 
derer; "I cannot, consequently, give you my word of honor 
as a gentleman. ' ' 

' ' If you are a peasant, that word of honor does not bind 
you to anything. Give it to me, then, since it is the only 
pledge I require of you. ' ' 

The prisoner did not answer. 

"Then," said Emmanuel, "I will untie your hands with- 
out the word of honor. I do not fear to find myself alone 
with a man, even though that man had no honor to pledge!" 

And the prince began untying the hands of the unknown. 

The latter took a step backward. "Wait," he said; "on 
the faith of a gentleman, I shall not attempt to escape!" 

"Come, now," said Emmanuel, smiling, "what the mis- 
chief ! dogs, horses, and men know each other;" and he 
finished loosening the cord. "There! you are free; now 
let us talk." 

The prisoner gazed coldly on his bruised hands, and let 
them fall by his side. "Talk?" he repeated, with irony; 
"and of what?" 

"Why," replied Emmanuel Philibert, "of the cause that 
led you to this crime. ' ' 

"I have said nothing," replied the unknown, "and I 
have nothing to say." 

"You have said nothing to the Emperor, whom you 
wished to kill, that is conceivable; you said nothing to 
the soldiers who arrested you, that I can easily understand ; 
but to me, a gentleman who treats you, not as a vulgar 
assassin, but as a gentleman to me you will tell every- 


"For what good?" 

' ' For what good ? I am about to tell you : because I do 
not regard you as a man paid by some coward who has 
placed your arm at the end of his own, not daring to strike 
himself. For what good ? Because you must not be hanged 
as some thief or lurking assassin, but decapitated as a noble 
and a lord. ' ' 

' ' They have threatened to torture me to make me speak, ' ' 
said the prisoner; "let them do it!" 

"Torture would be a useless cruelty; you would un- 
dergo it and you would not speak; you would be muti- 
lated, and not vanquished; you would keep your secre x t 
and leave the shame to your tormentors. No, that is 
not what I want; I want you to speak to me, a gentle- 
man and a prince, as you would speak to a priest. And if 
you judge it unsafe to speak to me, it is because you are 
one of those wretches with whom I did not wish to confound 
you ; it is because you have acted under the influence of a 
base passion you dare not avow; it is because " 

The prisoner drew himself up to his full height, and, in- 
terrupting, said: 

"My name is Odoardo Maraviglia, monsieur! Eevive 
your recollections, and stop insulting me." 

At this name of Odoardo Maraviglia, Emmanuel thought 
he heard a stifled cry in the other compartment of the tent; 
what he was sure of was that tlje canvas that divided it trem- 
bled, as if something had set it in motion. 

On his part, Emmanuel felt something vibrate strongly in 
his memory at the sound of that name. In fact, that name 
had served as a pretext for the war which had deprived him 
of his states. 

"Odoardo Maraviglia!" he said. "Are you the son of 
Francesco Maraviglia, the French ambassador at Milan?" 

"I am his son." 

Emmanuel concentrated his thoughts on the distant rec- 
ollections of his boyhood ; he found that name among them, 
but it threw no light on the present situation. 

(6)_Yol. 20 


''Your name," he said, "is surely the name of a gentle- 
man; but it does not recall any memory connected with the 
crime of which you are accused. ' ' 

Odoardo smiled disdainfully. 

"Ask the most august emperor," said he, "if there is the 
same obscurity in his memory that there is in yours. ' ' 

"Excuse me, sir," returned Emmanuel; "at the time 
when Comte Francesco de Maraviglia disappeared I was still 
a child; I was hardly eight years old. It is not astonish- 
ing, then, that I was ignorant of a disappearance which, as 
I think I can recall, remained a mystery for everybody." 

' ' Well, monseigneur, I am about to throw some light on 
this mystery. You know what a wretched prince was the 
last Sforza, eternally wavering between Frangois I. and 
Charles V., according as the genius of victory favored the 
one or the other. My father, Francesco Maraviglia, was ap- 
pointed envoy extraordinary to him by Frangois I. This 
was in 1534. The Emperor was occupied in Africa; the 
Duke of Saxony, the ally of Frangois, had just made peace 
with the King of the Romans; Clement VII., another ally 
of France, had just excommunicated Henry VIII. , King of 
England. Everything turned to the detriment of the Em- 
peror in Italy. Sforza, who still owed four hundred thou- 
sand ducats, turned, like every one else, and intrusted all 
his political fortunes to the envoy extraordinary of King 
Frangois I. It was a great triumph. Francesco Maraviglia 
had the imprudence to boast of it. The words he spoke 
crossed the seas, and startled Charles V. in presence of the 
Turks. Alas! fortune is fickle. Two months after, Clem- 
ent VII. , who was the strength of the French in Italy, died ; 
Tunis was taken by Charles V., and the Emperor, with his 
victorious army, landed in Italy. An expiatory victim was 
necessary. Francesco Maraviglia was marked by fate to be 
that victim. In a quarrel between the servants of Comte 
Maraviglia and some of the rabble of Milan, two of the lat- 
ter happened to be slain. The duke only wanted a pretext 
for keeping his promise to the august emperor. The man 


who for a year had been more powerful in Milan than the 
duke himself was arrested as a vulgar malefactor, and con- 
ducted to the citadel. My mother was present; she had 
with her my sister, a child four years old. I was in Paris, 
at the Louvre ; I was one of the pages of Fra^ois I. The 
count was torn from the arms of my mother ; he was dragged 
away without the poor woman being told what he was charged 
with, or where he was being taken. Eight days passed, dur- 
ing which, despite all their efforts, the countess could dis- 
cover nothing as to the fate of her husband. Maraviglia 
was known to be immensely rich; his wife was able to pur- 
chase his liberty at his weight in gold. One night a man 
knocked at the door of my mother's palace; it was opened 
for him; he asked to speak to the countess without wit- 
nesses. ETery thing was of importance under the circum- 
stances. Through the agency of friends and Frenchmen 
my mother spread a report through the city that she would 
give five hundred ducats to whoever would tell her where 
my father was. Probably this man, who desired to speak 
to her alone, was bringing news of the count, and, fearing 
betrayal, wished, by excluding witnesses, to insure secrecy. 

"She was not mistaken; this man was one of the jailers 
of the fortress of Milan, where my father was imprisoned. 
Not only did he come to tell where my father was, but he 
brought a letter from him. On recognizing her husband's 
handwriting, she counted out the five hundred ducats. 

"The letter of my father announced his arrest, and that 
he had been placed in solitary confinement, but did not 
express any keen anxiety as to the result. My mother, in 
her reply, told her husband to dispose of her; her life and 
fortune were his. Five days passed. In the middle of the 
night the same man knocked at the palace; it was opened, 
and he was immediately introduced to the countess. The 
situation of the prisoner had, in the meantime, been aggra- 
vated. He was placed in another dungeon, and his confine- 
ment was made more rigidly secret. 

" 'His life,' said the jailer, 'was in peril.' 


"Did this man want to extract some large sum from the 
countess, or was he telling the truth ? Either of these two 
hypotheses might be correct. But fear induced my mother 
to adopt the latter. Moreover, she questioned the jailer, 
and his replies, while giving evidence of cupidity, also bore 
the impress of frankness. 

"She gave him the same sum as on the first occasion, 
and told him at all hazards to form some plan for the 
count's escape. As soon as such a plan was arranged, he 
would receive a sum of five thousand ducats; and, once the 
count was out of danger, twenty thousand more would be 
handed over to him. 

"It was a fortune! The jailer left the countess, promis- 
ing to think over what he had just heard. The countess, 
on her side, made inquiries into the situation; she had 
friends near the duke; she knew through them that the 
situation was even worse than it had been described by 
the jailer. It was intended to prosecute the count as a 
spy. She awaited impatiently the visit of the jailer; she 
did not even know his name; and, even though she knew 
it, would she not ruin the jailer and ruin herself, if she were 
rash enough to inquire after him ? 

"However, one thing reassured her somewhat: there was 
to be a prosecution. What accusation could they bring 
against my father ? The death of these two Milanese ? It 
was an affair between domestics and peasants, with which a 
gentleman, an ambassador, could have nothing to do. But 
some voices said, quite low, that there would be no prosecu- 
tion ; and these voices were the most sinister of all, for they 
let it be understood that the count would not the less surely 
be condemned for all that. At last, my mother was startled 
one night by the noise of the knocker on the door; she was 
beginning to recognize the manner in which her nocturnal 
visitor knocked; she awaited him on the threshold of her 
bedchamber. He addressed her with even more mystery 
than usual; he had found a means of escape, and was come 
to propose it to the countess. This was the plan he adopted. 


"The dungeon of the prisoner was separated from the 
lodging of the jailer by a single gallery, opening into the 
dungeon by means of an iron door barred at the top. The 
jailer had the key of this second dungeon as well as of 
the first. He proposed to bore through the wall behind 
his bed, at a spot concealed from every eye. Through 
this opening he would enter the empty cell, and from there 
pass into the count's dungeon. The fetters of the count 
knocked off, he could pass from his dungeon into the 
neighboring cell, and then into the jailer's room. 

"There he would find a ladder of ropes, by the aid of 
which he would descend into the fosse, at the darkest and 
most solitary part of the wall ; a carriage would wait for the 
count a hundred yards from the fosse, and would carry him 
out of the duke's states with all the speed of two horses. 
The plan was good; the countess accepted it, but, fearing 
some deception might be practiced on her with regard to the 
count, and she might be told he was saved while still a cap- 
tive, she required to be present at this flight. The jailer 
objected the difficulty of introducing her into the fortress; 
but by a single word the countess removed this difficulty. 
She had obtained permission for herself and her daughter 
to see her husband a permission she had not yet availed 
herself of, and could therefore still make use of it. On the 
day appointed for the count's flight, she would enter the for- 
tress at nightfall; she would see the count; then, on leaving 
him, instead of quitting the fortress, she would enter the 
jailer's room. There she would await the moment for the 
prisoner's flight. The jailer, who would depart with the count, 
would receive from the latter the sum agreed on. The carriage 
awaiting them was to contain a hundred thousand ducats. 

"The jailer was sincere in his offers; he accepted. The 
flight was arranged for the day after the next day. Before 
leaving, the jailer received his five thousand ducats, and 
indicated the place where the carriage was to be stationed. 
The care of this carriage was confided by the countess to 
one of her servants, a man of tried fidelity. 


"But, pardon, monseigneur, " said Odoardo, interrupting 
himself. "I forget I am speaking to a stranger, and that all 
these details, full of emotion and life for me, are indifferent 
to my listener. ' ' 

"You are mistaken, sir," said Emmanuel; "I desire, on 
the contrary, to make appeal to your memory, in order that 
I myself may be able to share in all your recollections. 
I am listening." 

Odoardo continued: 

"The two days passed in all the anguish that precedes 
the execution of such a project. One thing, however, tran- 
quillized the countess: it was that the jailer had such an 
overpowering interest in the success of the enterprise; a 
hundred years' fidelity would not give this man the reward 
to be obtained by a quarter of an hour's treason. Ten times 
the countess asked herself why she had not decided on mak- 
ing the attempt at the end of twenty- four hours instead of 
at the end of forty- eight. It seemed as if the last twenty- 
four hours would never end, or would lead to some catas- 
trophe that would upset the plan, however well conceived 
and ingenious it might be. The time swept by, measured 
by the hand of eternity. The hours struck with their ordi- 
nary impassibility. At last that one arrived that was to tell 
her the moment had come to enter the prison. In presence 
of the countess, the carriage was laden with all the objects 
necessary for the flight of the count, in order that he might 
not be forced to stop on the route; two horses had been led 
beyond Pavia, so that he could make about thirty leagues 
without any delay. At eleven o'clock the horses would be 
harnessed to the carriage, which at midnight would be at 
the spot agreed upon. 

"Once out of danger, the fugitive would take steps to 
warn the countess, and the latter would join her husband, 
wherever he might be. The hour struck. Face to face 
with the moment of execution, the countess now thought 
it had come very soon. She took her little daughter by 
the hand, and directed her course toward the prison. One 


fear agitated her during the journey: it was that as the 
permit was dated eight days back, she might be refused 
entrance to the prison. 

' ' The countess was mistaken ; she was introduced, without 
any difficulty, to the prisoner. The reports she heard were 
not exaggerated; and the manner in which a man of the 
count's rank was treated showed there could be no illusion 
on the fate that awaited him. The ambassador of France 
had a chain on his foot, as if he were a vile felon. The 
interview would have been very painful, if escape had not 
been imminent and certain. During this interview all that 
was not yet arranged was finally settled. 

"The count was resolved on everything; he knew he had 
no quarter to expect; the Emperor had positively insisted 
on his death " 

Emmanuel Philibert made a movement. 

"Are you sure of what you say, sir ?" he asked severely. 
"Do you know this is a grave accusation you are making 
against so great a prince as the Emperor Charles V.?" 

"Does your Highness order me to stop, or permit me to 

"Continue! but why not answer my question?" 

"Because the progress of my narrative will, I fancy, 
render that question useless. ' ' 

"Continue, then, sir," said Emmanuel Philibert. 





"\ FEW minutes after nine," returned Odoardo, "the 
jailer came to warn the countess that it was time to 
withdraw. The sentries were about to be changed, 
and it was well the sentinel who had seen her enter should 
see her leave. The separation was cruel ; and yet in three 



hours they would see each other again, never more to be 
separated. The child uttered piteous cries, and refused to 
abandon her father. The countess had almost to tear her 
from his arms. They passed the sentinel again, and plunged 
into the darkest depths of the courtyard. From the place 
where they were they gained, with infinite precautions, and 
without being seen, the house of the jailer. Once there, 
the countess and her daughter were shut up in a cabinet, 
and bidden not to utter a single word or make a single 
movement, as an inspector might at any moment enter the 
jailer's residence. The countess and her child kept them- 
selves dumb and motionless. One hazardous movement, 
one whispered word, might deprive a father and husband 
of life. 

"The three hours that still remained till midnight ap- 
peared as long to the countess as the forty- eight hours that 
had slipped by. At last the jailer opened the door. 

" 'Come!' he said, in a low voice a voice so low that 
the countess and her daughter guessed what this man in- 
tended to say, rather than what he said. 

"The mother had not wished to leave her child, in order 
that the father, on escaping, might give her a last kiss. Be- 
sides, there are moments when, for an empire, one would 
not separate from those one loves. 

"Did she know what was about to happen, this poor 
mother who was fighting for the life of her husband with 
his executioners? Might she also not be forced to fly, 
either with her husband, or on her own account? And 
if she had to fly, could she part with her child? 

"The jailer pushed the bed aside; an opening two and 
a half feet high and two feet wide had been made in the 
wall behind. 

"It was more than was needed for all the prisoners in 
the fortress to escape, one after another. Preceded by the 
jailer, the mother and child entered the first dungeon. 
After their passage, the wife of the jailer replaced the 
bed, in which a boy of four years was sleeping. The 


jailer, as I have said, had the key of the first dungeon; 
he opened the door of it, having first taken good care to 
oil the lock and the bolts, and found himself in the dun- 
geon of the count. The latter had received, an hour before, 
a file with which to cut through his chain; but, unaccus- 
tomed to such labor, and, besides, fearing to be heard by 
the sentry, who was walking in the corridor, he was hardly 
half through the work. The jailer took the file in his turn; 
and, while the count clasped his wife and child in his arms, 
began filing the chain. Suddenly he lifted his head, and 
remained listening, with one knee on the ground, his body 
resting on the hand that held the file, and the other hand 
extended in the direction of the door. The count wished 
to question him. 

" 'Silence!' he said; 'something unusual is passing in 
the fortress!' 

" 'Oh, my God!' murmured the countess, frightened. 

" 'Silence!' repeated the jailer. 

' ' Every one was silent ; they held their breath as if they 
would never breathe again. These four individuals resem- 
bled a group of bronze, representing all the shades of fear, 
from astonishment to terror. A slow and deep noise was 
heard, increasing as it approached. It was that of several 
persons in line of march. By the measured footfall of the 
steps it might be gathered that among these persons was a 
certain number of soldiers. 

" 'Come!" said the jailer, taking the countess and the 
child each by an arm, and dragging them with him, 'come! 
It is doubtless some night visit, some round of the gov- 
ernor. But, in any case, you must not be seen. As soon 
as the visitors have quitted the dungeon of the count, if, 
indeed, they enter it, we can resume the work where we 
left off.' 

' ' The countess and her daughter opposed a weak resist- 
ance. Besides, the prisoner himself pushed them toward 
the door. They passed out of it, followed by the jailer, 
who closed it after them. As I have told your Highness, 


there was in the second dungeon a grated door, opening into 
the first, and through which, thanks to the darkness and the 
closeness of the bars, one could see everything without 
being seen. 

"The countess held her daughter in her arms. The 
mother and child, hardly breathing, glued their faces to 
the bars to see what was going to happen. 

' ' The hope they had for a moment entertained, that the 
business of the new-comers was not with the count, was soon 
dissipated. The procession halted at the door of the dun- 
geon, and the key was heard grating in the lock. At the 
spectacle presented to her eyes the countess could hardly 
refrain from a cry of terror; it was evident the jailer guessed 
as much. 

" 'Not a word, madame; not a syllable! not a gesture, 
whatever happens ! or ' 

"He thought for a moment what means he should adopt 
to impose silence on the countess; then, drawing a thin, 
sharp blade from his breast 

" 'Or I poniard your child!' he said. 

" 'Wretch!' stammered the countess. 

" 'Oh!' he replied, 'each one here must think of his own 
life; and that of a poor jailer is, in the eyes of the poor 
jailer, of as much value as that of a noble countess!' 

' ' The countess placed her hand on the mouth of the child 
in order to silence the child. As to herself, after the threat 
of the jailer, she was sure she would not let a sound escape. 

"This is what the countess saw from the other side of 
the door, and what had torn from her the cry stifled by the 

"First, two men, clad in black, and having each a torch 
in his hand ; behind them, a man bearing a parchment un- 
folded, from which hung a big red seal; behind this man, 
another man, masked, and muffled in a brown robe ; behind 
the man masked, a priest. They entered, one by one, into 
the dungeon without the countess betraying her emotion by 
a word or by a gesture; and, moreover, when they entered, 


the poor woman saw, outlined in the shadow of the corridor, 
a group still more sinister! Facing the door was a man 
wearing a costume half black, half red, his two hands rest- 
ing on the hilt of a long broad naked sword. Behind him 
were six Brothers of Mercy, clad in black-hooded cloaks, 
with openings for the eyes only, and bearing a bier on their 
shoulders. Finally, beyond them were seen the mustaches 
of a dozen soldiers drawn up against the wall. The two 
men holding the torches, the man holding a parchment, 
the man masked, and the priest entered, as I have said, 
into the dungeon. Then the door was shut, leaving out- 
side the executioner, the Brothers of Mercy, and the 

"The count was standing, leaning against the gloomy 
prison- wall, from which loomed out his pale features. His 
eye sought, behind the bars of the door, the direction of 
the frightened eyes he could not see, but which he guessed 
were glued to those bars. Those spectral visitors, mute and 
unlocked for though they were, left him no doubt as to 
the fate that awaited him. Besides, if he had had the good 
fortune to have reason for doubting, his doubt would not 
have been of long duration. 

"The two men bearing torches placed themselves, the 
one on his right, the other on his left ; the masked man and 
the priest stayed near the door; the man holding the parch- 
ment advanced. 

' ' ' Count, ' he asked, ' do you believe that you are fit to 
meet God ?' 

" 'As fit as one can be,' replied the count, in a calm 
voice, 'who has nothing to reproach himself with.' 

" 'So much the better!' replied the man with the parch- 
ment ; ' for you are condemned, and I am come to read your 
sentence of death. ' 

"'Pronounced by what tribunal?' asked the count, 

" 'By the all-powerful justice of the duke.' 

14 'On what accusation?' 


" 'On that of the most august emperor, Charles V.' 

" 'It is well. I am ready to hear the sentence. ' 

' ' ' On your knees, count ! It is on his knees that a man 
about to die should hear the sentence that condemns him. ' 

" 'When he is guilty, but not when he is innocent.' 

" 'Count, you are not beyond the common law: on your 
knees ! or we shall be constrained to employ force. ' 

" 'Try!' said the count. 

" 'Let him stand,' said the masked man; 'let him cross 
himself only, in order to place himself under the protection 
of the Lord!' 

"The count started at the sound of this voice. 

" 'Duke Sforza, ' he said, turning toward the masked 
man, 'I thank you.' 

' ' ' Oh, it is the duke, ' murmured the countess ; ' perhaps 
I might prevail on him to pardon. ' 

" 'Silence, madame, if you value the life of your child!' 
said the jailer, in a whisper. 

' ' The countess gave utterance to a groan which was heard 
by the count, and made him start. He hazarded a gesture 
with his hand, which meant 'Courage!' then, as the masked 
man had invited him, he said aloud, making the sign of the 

" 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost. ' 

" ''Amen!' 1 murmured those present. 

' ' Thereupon the man with the parchment began to read 
the sentence. It was rendered in the name of Duke Fran- 
cesco Maria Sforza, at the request of the Emperor Charles 
V., and it condemned Francesco Maraviglia, agent of the 
King of France, to be executed at night, in a dungeon, as 
a traitor, spy, and betrayer of state secrets. 

"A second groan reached the ear of the count a groan 
so faint that he alone was able, not to perceive, but to 
divine it. 

"He turned his gaze toward the spot from which this 
doleful sound came. 


" 'Unjust as is the sentence of the duke,' he said, 'I re- 
ceive it without trouble and without anger. However, as 
the man who cannot defend his life ought to defend his 
honor, I appeal from the sentence of the duke. ' 

" 'And to whom?' asked the masked man. 

1 1 i rp o my kj-Qg an(; -[ mas ter, Frangois I. , in the first place, 
and then to the future and to God ! to God, in whose hands 
are all men, and particularly princes, kings, and emperors. ' 

41 'Is it the only tribunal to which you appeal ?' said the 
masked man. 

" 'Yes, and I summon you to appear before that tribunal, 
Duke Francesco Maria Sforza!' 

" 'And pray when?' retorted the masked man. 

" 'In the same time that Jacques de Molay, Grand 
Master of the Templars, assigned to his judge; that is to 
say, in a year and a day. To-day is the 15th of November, 
1584; on the 16th of November, 1535, then Do you hear 
me, Duke Francesco Maria Sforza ?' 

"And he stretched forth his hand toward the masked 
man to emphasize the menace and the summons. But for 
the mask hiding the face of the duke, his paleness would 
have been visible to all; for it was he, beyond all doubt, 
who was present at the agony of his victim. For a moment 
it was the condemned who triumphed, and the judge who 
trembled before him. 

" 'It is well,' said the duke; 'you have a quarter of an 
hour to pass with this holy man before undergoing your 
sentence. ' 

"And he pointed to the priest. 

' ' ' Try to finish in a quarter of an hour, for you shall not 
have a minute longer. ' 

"Then, turning to the man of God 

' ' ' Father, ' he said, ' do your duty. ' 

"And he left, with the two torch-bearers and the man 
with the parchment. 

"But he left the door wide open behind him, in order 
that his eyes and the eyes of the soldiers might be able to 


see the interior of the dungeon, and follow all the move- 
ments of the condemned, whom he had only quitted through 
respect for the rite of compassion and so as not to hear the 
voice of the penitent. 

"Another sigh passed through the bars, and touched 
gently the palpitating heart of the condemned. The coun- 
tess had hoped that the door might be shut on him and the 
priest, and who knows? perhaps by supplication and 
tears, the sight of a wife on her knees praying for her 
husband, of a child praying for her father, might prevail 
on the man of God to consent to turn aside his head, and 
let the count escape. 

"It was the last hope of my poor mother; it failed her 

Emmanuel Philibert started. Sometimes he forgot that 
this recital was made by a son who was relating the last mo- 
ments of his father. It seemed to him as if he was reading 
the pages of some terrible legend. 

Then, on a sudden, a word recalled him to reality, and 
made him comprehend that the recital did not issue from 
the pen of a cold historian, but fell from the lips of a son, 
a living chronicle of the agony of his father. 

"Yes, it was the last hope of my poor mother; it failed 
her!" repeated Odoardo, pausing a moment in his narra- 
tion, on seeing the movement of Emmanuel. "For," he 
continued, "on the other side of the door, lighted by the 
two torches and by the glare of the' smoky lamps of the 
corridor, the dismal spectacle was still there, terrible as 
a vision, deadly as reality. The priest alone remained near 
the count, as I have told you. The count, without disturb- 
ing himself as to from whom this last consoler came, knelt 
before him. Then began the confession a strange confes- 
sion, in which the man about to die did not seem to think 
of himself, but to be preoccupied only with others ; in which 
the words said to the priest were really addressed to the wife 
and child, and ascended to Grod only after having passed 
through the hearts of a mother and a daughter ! My sister 
alone, if she still lives, could recount the tears with which 


this confession was received; for I was not there. I, a merry 
lad, was playing, laughing, singing, perhaps, ignorant of 
what was passing within three hundred leagues of me, at 
the very moment when my father, at the threshold of death, 
was speaking of his absent son to my weeping mother and 

Oppressed by this memory, Odoardo stopped an instant; 
then he resumed, stifling a sigh: 

"The quarter of an hour was soon passed. The masked 
man, with a watch in his hand, followed the face of priest 
and penitent; but when the fifteen minutes had elapsed 

" 'Count,' he said, 'the time allotted you to remain 
among the living has expired. The priest has finished his 
task ; it is for the executioner now to do his. ' 

"The priest gave the count absolution, and rose. Then, 
pointing to the crucifix, he retired backward toward the 
door, and as the priest retired, the executioner advanced. 
The count remained on his knees. 'Have you any last 
petition to address to Duke Sforza or to Charles Y. ?' 

" 'I have no petition to address to any one but God,' 
replied the count. 

" 'Then you are ready ?' asked the same man. 

" 'You see it, since I am on my knees.' 

"And, in fact, the count was on his knees, his face 
turned toward the bars of that gloomy door through which 
his wife and child were looking at him. His mouth, which 
seemed to continue to pray, sent them words of love, 
which was still a last prayer. 

" ' If you do not wish my hand to sully you, count, ' said 
a voice behind the victim, 'pull down the collar of your 
shirt. You are a gentleman, and I have no right to touch 
you except with the blade of my sword. ' 

"The count, without answering, pulled his shirt down to 
his shoulders, and remained with the neck bare. 

" 'Good and Gracious Lord!' said the count, 'Almighty 
and Merciful God, into Thy hands I commend my spirit!' 

' ' He had scarcely said the words when the sword of the 


executioner flamed and hissed in the darkness, like a flash 
of lightning, and the head of the victim fell from his shoul- 
ders, rolling, as if with a last impulse of love, to the foot of 
the grated door. A hoarse, muffled cry was heard at the 
same time, and also the noise of a body falling backward. 

"But the bystanders believed this cry was the last sound 
uttered by the victim; the noise they thought was made by 
his body falling on the flagstone of the dungeon 

"Excuse me, monseigneur, " said Odoardo, stopping; 
"but if you wish to hear the rest I must have a glass of 
water, for I feel faint. ' ' 

And, in fact, Emmanuel Philibert saw that the narrator 
of this terrible history was pale and tottering. He ran for- 
ward to support him, placed him on a pile of cushions, and 
gave him the glass of water he asked for. 

The sweat was running down the forehead of the prince, 
and, soldier though he was, accustomed to fields of battle, 
he seemed as near fainting as he whom he was succoring. 

At the end of ten minutes Odoardo recovered. 

"Would you know more, monseigneur?" he asked. 

"I wish to know everything, sir," said Emmanuel; 
"such narratives as yours are great lessons for princes who 
are some day to reign. ' ' 

"Be it so," answered the young man; "besides, the most 
terrible part is finished. ' ' 

He wiped the perspiration from his forehead with his 
hand, and perhaps, also, his eyes, wet with tears at the same 
time, and continued: 

"When my mother recovered her senses, everything had 
vanished like a vision, and she might have believed she 
had Ijad a bad dream, if she had not found herself lying on 
the bed of the jailer. Such terrible orders had been given 
by her to my sister not to cry, for fear her sobs might be 
heard, that, although the poor child believed she had lost 
both father and mother, she regarded the latter with wide, 
scared eyes, from which the tears were flowing; but these 
tears continued to flow from the eyes of the child as silently 

for t 


for the mother as they did for the father. The jailer was 
no longer there; there remained only his wife. She took 
pity on the countess, and made her put on one of her gar- 
ments; she dressed my sister in a suit of her son's, and at 
daybreak she set out with them and guided them on the 
road to Novara; then she gave two ducats to the countess, 
and recommended her to God. 

"My poor mother seemed pursued by a terrible vision. 
She did not dream either of returning to the palace and 
taking some money out of it, nor of finding the carriage in 
which the count was to escape; she was mad with terror. 
Her only care was to fly, to cross the frontier, to quit the 
territories of the Duke of Milan. She disappeared with her 
child in the neighborhood of Novara, and nothing further 
was heard of her. What has become of my mother ? What 
has become of my sister? I am utterly ignorant of their 
fate ! The news of the death of my father reached Paris. 
It was the king himself who informed me of it, at the same 
time telling me I should never want his protection, and that 
he was about to exact vengeance for the assassination of the 
count by war. 

"I asked the king's permission to accompany him. 
Fortune, at the beginning, favored the arms of France. 
We crossed the states of your father, of which the king 
took possession; then we arrived at Milan. 

"Duke Sforza had taken refuge with Paul III. at Rome. 

"An inquiry was made into the murder of my father; 
but it was impossible to find any one who had taken a share 
in this murder, or had been present at it. Three days after 
the execution the executioner suddenly died. The name of 
the usher who read the sentence was unknown. The jailer 
had taken flight with his wife and son. 

"Tims, in spite of all inquiries, I could not even dis- 
cover the spot where the body of my father rested. Twenty 
years had elapsed since those useless inquiries when I re- 
ceived a letter dated from Avignon. 

"A man, who merely signed his initials, invited me to 


come at once to Avignon if I wished to gain reliable infor- 
mation on the fate of my father, Comte Francesco de Mara- 
viglia. He gave me the name and address of a priest whose 
mission it would be to conduct me to him if I accepted the 

"The letter offered me that which was the desire of my 
whole life ; I set out on the very instant. I went straight 
to the priest; the priest was prepared. He led me to the 
writer. It was the jailer of the fortress of Milan. Seeing 
my father dead, and knowing the spot where the carriage 
was waiting with a hundred thousand ducats, the evil 
spirit tempted him. He had placed my mother on his bed, 
recommending her to his wife ; then he let himself down by 
means of a rope-ladder, crept up behind the coachman, who 
was waiting for my father, saying that he came from the 
latter, stabbed him, and, after throwing his body into 
the fosse, continued on his way, taking the carriage with 

"Once over the frontier, he took post-horses, gained 
Avignon, sold the carriage, and, as no one ever claimed 
its contents, he appropriated the hundred thousand ducats. 
He then wrote to his wife and son to join him. 

"But the hand of Grod was on this man. His wife died 
first; next, after wasting away for ten years, the son joined 
the mother; at last, he felt that his own turn would soon 
come for rendering an account to God of what he had done 
during his passage through this world. It was this sum- 
mons from on high that made him repent and think of me. 
You understand, therefore, what was his object in wishing 
to see me. 

"It was to confess everything to me, and to ask my 
pardon, not for the death of my father, with which he had 
no concern, but for the murder of the coachman and the 
robbery of the hundred thousand ducats. As to the man 
assassinated, there was no remedy for the crime ; the man 
was dead. 

"But as to the hundred thousand ducats, he had pur- 


chased with them a castle and a magnificent property at 
Yille-neuve-lez- Avignon, on the revenues of which he 

"I began by making him relate to me all the details of 
the death of my father, not once, but ten times. For that 
matter, the night had appeared so terrible to him that no 
incident escaped him, and he recalled the slightest details 
of the sinister event as if it had passed the evening before. 
Unfortunately, he knew nothing of my mother and sister 
except what his wife had told him, who lost sight of them 
on the road to Kovara. They must have perished of hunger 
and fatigue! 

"I was rich, and had no need of this increase of fortune; 
but a day might arrive when my mother and sister would 
reappear. Not wishing to dishonor this man by a public 
declaration of his crime, I had him make a gift of this 
castle and estate to the Comtesse de Maraviglia and her 
daughter. Then, as far as in me lay, and as God gave me 
power, I pardoned him. 

"But there my mercy ended. Francesco Maria Sforza 
died in 1535, a year and a day after the summons given him 
by my father to appear before the tribunal of God. I had 
nothing further, therefore, to do with him; he was punished 
for his weakness, if not for his crime. 

"But there remained the Emperor Charles V. the Em- 
peror at the pinnacle of his power, at the summit of his 
glory, at the height of his prosperity ! It was he who had 
remained unpunished; it was he I resolved to strike. 

"You will say that the men who bear the crown and 
sceptre are to be judged only by God; but sometimes God 
seems to forget. 

"It is for men then to remember. I remembered that 
is all. But I was ignorant that the Emperor wore, under 
his clothes, a coat of mail. He, too, remembered! I am 
Odoardo Maraviglia, and I wished to slay the Emperor, be- 
cause he had my father assassinated by night, and caused 
my mother and sister to die of hunger and fatigue ! 


"I have spoken. Now, monseigneur, you know the 
truth. I wished to kill; I deserve to be killed; but I am 
a gentleman, and I demand the death of a gentleman. ' ' 

Emmanuel Philibert bowed his head in token of assent. 

"It is just," he said, "and your demand shall be granted. 
Do you desire to be free up to the moment of execution ? 
By being free, I mean not being bound. ' ' 

"What must I do for this ?" 

"Give me your word of honor not to escape." 

"You have it already." 

"Eenew it to me, then." 

"I renew it; only make haste. The crime is public; the 
confession is complete. What is the use of making me 

"It is not for me to fix the hour of the death of a man. 
It must be according to the good pleasure of the Emperor 
Charles V." 

Then, summoning the sergeant 

"Conduct this gentleman to a private tent," said Em- 
manuel, "and let him want for nothing! A single sentinel 
will suffice to guard him: I have his parole as a gentle- 
man. Go!" 

The sergeant left, taking the prisoner with him. Em- 
manuel Philibert followed him with his eyes until he was 
some distance from his tent. Then, as he thought he heard 
a feeble sound behind him, he turned. 

Leona was standing on the threshold of the second com- 
partment, the tapestry of which had fallen behind her. 

It was the noise made by this tapestry falling which had 
attracted the attention of Emmanuel Philibert. 

Leona had her hands clasped; her face bore the trace 
of the tears she had no doubt shed at the recital of the 

"What do you want?" asked the prince. 

' ' I want to say to you, ' ' she said ' ' I want to say to you 
that this man must not die!" 

The countenance of Emmanuel became overcast 


"Leona, " said Emmanuel, "you have not reflected on 
what you ask. This man has committed a horrible crime, 
if not in fact, at least in intention. ' ' 

' ' No matter, ' ' replied Leona, throwing her arms around 
the prince's neck; "I repeat to you, this man must not die!" 

' ' The Emperor will decide his lot, Leona. The only thing 
I can do is to report everything to the Emperor. ' ' 

"And I tell you, though the Emperor condemned this 
young man to a death of shame, you would still obtain his 
pardon, would you not, Emmanuel?" 

"Leona, you believe I have a power over the Emperor I 
do not really possess. The imperial justice must follow its 
course. If it condemns " 

"Even if it condemned, still must Odoardo Maraviglia 
live; you hear me ? He must live, my dearest Emmanuel!" 

"And why, pray?" 

"Because," replied Leona "because he is my brother!" 

Emmanuel uttered a cry of amazement. 

That woman dying of hunger and fatigue on the bank of 
the Sesia, that child obstinately keeping the secret of her 
birth and sex, that page refusing the diamond of Charles Y. 
all was explained by those four words which had just es- 
caped from Leona in reference to Odoardo Maraviglia, "He 
is my brother!" 



AT THE very time the scene we have related was pass- 
ing under the tent of Emmanuel Philibert, a great 
event, announced by flourishes of trumpets and hur- 
rying of soldiers, was creating excitement in the imperial 

A little troop of horsemen had been distinguished com- 
ing from the direction of Brussels; couriers had been sent 


forward to meet this troop, and had returned galloping and 
making irreat signs of joy. They announced that the leader 
of the cavalcade was no less a person than the only son of 
the most august emperor, Philip, Prince of Spain, King 
of Naples, and husband of the Queen of England. 

Amid the nourishes of trumpets and the cheers of the 
first who perceived the prince, all left their tents and hur- 
ried to greet the new-comer. 

Philip was mounted on a handsome white steed, which 
he managed gracefully enough. He was clad in violet 
mantle and black tunic the two mourning colors of kings; 
his breeches were violet also, and he had on immense boots 
of buffalo leather, and wore a little black cap, such as was 
the fashion at the period, adorned with a silken band and a 
black plume. 

Eound his neck was the collar of the Grolden Fleece. He 
was then a man of twenty- eight years, of middle height, 
rather fat than lean, with cheeks somewhat puffed, a blond 
beard, close, thin lips that rarely smiled, a straight nose, 
and eyes that trembled under their lashes like those of 
hares. Although he was handsome rather than ugly, the 
ensemble of his physiognomy had nothing sympathetic; and 
it might be easily seen that under that brow, wrinkled be- 
fore its time, were harbored gloomy rather than pleasant 

The Emperor had a great affection for him. As he had 
loved his mother, he loved his son. But whenever a caress 
drew the two hearts together, he felt that the prince's was 
enveloped in a sheeting of ice which no embrace could ever 

Sometimes, when he was long without seeing his son, 
when he could no longer try to penetrate with his eyes the 
troubled and shifting look of the young prince, he would 
anxiously meditate in what direction this darksome miner, 
eternally occupied with underground intrigues, was burrow- 
ing in the interests of his ambition. Was it against their 
common enemies ? Was it against himself ? And with this 


doubt in his heart, he would let some of those terrible words 
escape which Emmanuel Philibert had heard that very morn- 
ing with reference to the prisoner. 

The birth of the young prince had been as gloomy as his 
life was to be. There are gloomy dawns which are reflec- 
tions of the entire day. The Emperor received the news of 
his birth, which took place on Tuesday, the 31st of May, 
1527, at the same time as that of the death of the Conne- 
table de Bourbon, the sack of Rome, and the captivity of 
Clement VII. All rejoicings were forbidden at this birth, 
for fear it might form a contrast with the universal mourn- 
ing of Christendom. 

Only a year after, the royal heir was recognized as Prince 
of Spain. Then there were grand festivals; but the child 
who as a man was to cause the shedding of so many tears 
the child did nothing but weep during these festivals. 

He had just reached his sixteenth year, when the Em- 
peror, wishing to make trial of him in war, ordered him to 
compel the French, commanded by the Dauphin, to raise 
the siege of Perpignan; but in order that he might not run 
the risk of any check in this enterprise, he was accompanied 
by six grandees of Spain, fourteen barons, eight hundred 
gentlemen, two thousand cavalry, and five thousand in- 

Against such a reinforcement of fresh troops no headway 
could be made. The French raised the siege, and the In- 
fante of Spain began his military career with a victory. 

But after the report he ordered to be laid before him of 
this campaign, Charles V. easily understood that the in- 
stincts of his son were not warlike. He reserved, there- 
fore, to himself the risks of war and the uncertain fortunes 
of battles, leaving to the heir of his power the study of poli- 
tics, for which he seemed to have a natural bent. 

At sixteen, the young prince had made such progress in 
this great art of government that Charles V. did not hesitate 
to name him governor of all the kingdoms of Spain. 

In 1544, he married Dona Maria of Portugal, his cousin- 


german, born in the same year as himself, and even in the 
very hour. 

He had a son, Don Carlos, the hero of a lamentable his- 
tory, and of two or three tragedies. This son was born in 

In fine, in 1548, Philip left Barcelona for the purpose of 
visiting Italy in the midst of a frightful storm, which had 
scattered the fleet of Doria, and forced it to return for the 
moment into port; with a contrary wind, he attempted the 
voyage again, landed at Genoa, from Genoa proceeded to 
Milan, explored the battlefield of Pavia, required to be 
shown the spot where Frangois I. surrendered his sword, 
and measured with his eyes the depth of the ditch in which 
the French monarchy was near being buried; then, taciturn 
and silent as ever, he quitted Milan, crossed central Italy, 
and joined the Emperor at Worms. Then Charles V., 
Flemish by birth and heart, presented him to his fellow- 
countrymen of Namur and Brussels. , 

At Namur, Emmanuel Philibert received him, and did 
him the honors of the city. The two cousins embraced each 
other tenderly at their meeting, and afterward Emmanuel 
gave him the spectacle of a little war, in which, it may be 
well conceived, Philip did not take any part. 

The festivals were not less sumptuous at Brussels than at 
Namur. Seven hundred princes, barons, and gentlemen re- 
ceived outside the gates the heir of the greatest monarchy in 
the world. Then when this heir had been fully recognized 
and seen, his father sent him back to Spain. 

Emmanuel Philibert accompanied him to Genoa. It was 
during this journey that the Prince of Savoy saw his father 
for the last time. 

Three years after the return of Philip into Spain, King 
Edward VI. of England died, leaving the crown to his sister 
Mary, daughter of Catherine, that aunt whom the Emperor 
loved so much that he learned English, he -said, for no other 
reason except to speak to her. 

The new queen was pressed to choose a husband. She 


was forty-six years old; consequently, she had little time to 
lose. Charles Y. proposed his son Philip. 

Philip had lost that charming Dona Maria, who had lived 
only the age of the flowers. Four days after the birth of Don 
Carlos, the women of the queen, curious to see a magnificent 
auto-da-fe, left the new mother alone in front of a table cov- 
ered with fruits. The sick woman had been forbidden to eat 
of those fruits. A daughter of Eve on all points, the poor 
princess disregarded the injunction. She rose, bit with her 
beautiful young teeth, not into an apple, but into a melon, 
and in twenty-four hours was dead. 

Nothing, therefore, prevented Don Philip from marrying 
Mary Tudor, from uniting England and Spain, and stifling 
France between the island of the North and the peninsula of 
the South. 

It was the grand aim of the union. 

Philip had two rivals for the hand of his cousin. They 
were Cardinal Pole, a cardinal without being a priest son 
of Greorge, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV., conse- 
quently, cousin to the queen in nearly the same degree of 
relationship as Philip; and the Earl of Courtenay, nephew 
of Henry VIII., consequently, as nearly related as the two 
others to Mary. 

Charles V. began by making sure of the support of Mary 
herself; and having gained this support through the influ- 
ence of Father Henry, her confessor, he did not hesitate 
to act. 

The Princess Mary was an ardent Catholic. The title of 
"Bloody Mary," given to her by successive English histori- 
ans, is a- proof of it. 

The Emperor began then by banishing from her presence 
the Earl of Courtenay, a young man of thirty-two, hand- 
some as an angel and brave as a Courtenay. He accused 
him of being a zealous protector of heresy; and, in fact, 
Mary regarded the two of her ministers who were most fa- 
vorable to this marriage as strongly tainted with that false 
religion of which her father had made himself the Pope, in 

(7)_Yol. 20 


order to have no further connection with the bishops of Rome, 
as he called them. 

This point having been well fixed in the mind of the 
queen, Courtenay was no longer to be feared. 

Kemained Cardinal Pole, perhaps less brave than Courte- 
nay, but as handsome as he, and assuredly more of a states- 
man, raised as he had been in the school of the popes. 

Cardinal Pole was so much the more to be feared that, 
before being crowned, Mary Tudor, with or without inten- 
tion, had written to Pope Julius III. to send Cardinal Pole 
to her as apostolic legate in order that the latter might labor 
with her in the holy task of re-establishing their religion. 
Luckily for Charles V., the Pope, who knew what Pole had 
to suffer under Henry "VIII. , and what dangers he had en- 
countered, hesitated sending all at once, in the midst of the 
fermentation that reigned in England, a prelate of his distinc- 
tion. He despatched, therefore, first, John Francis Com- 
mendon, master of the chamber, to act near Mary; but the 
queen wanted Pole, and not Commendon. She dismissed 
the latter, begging him to hasten the arrival of the cardinal. 

Pole started; but the Emperor had his spies at Eome. 
He was informed of this departure; and as the legate a 
atere was to cross Germany, and pass by Innspruck, Charles 
V. ordered Mendoza, who commanded a body of cavalry 
in this city, to arrest Cardinal Pole on his passage, on the 
ground that he was too nearly related to the queen to give 
her disinterested advice in the matter of her marriage with 
Don Philip. 

Mendoza was the kind of captain needed by princes in 
such circumstances. He had ears only for the word of com- 
mand. His orders were to arrest Cardinal Pole; he arrested 
him and kept him prisoner until the articles of the marriage 
contract between Philip of Spain and Mary of England were 

These articles being signed, he was released. Pole took 
it as a man of good sense should, and filled the office of 
legate a latere not only to Mary, but to Philip. 


One of the articles declared that Mary Tudor, Queen of 
England, could only marry a king; this did not embarrass 
Charles Y. ; he made his son Philip king of Naples. 

This success somewhat consoled the Emperor, saddened 
by the two checks he had experienced: the one at Inns- 
pruck, where, surprised in the night by Duke Maurice, he 
had fled so precipitately that he forgot he had put on his 
baldrick and forgotten his sword; the other before Metz, 
the siege of which he had been forced to raise, abandon- 
ing, in the slush and mud caused by a thaw, his cannon, 
war material, and a third of his army. 

"Oh," he cried, "fortune is then returning to me at last!" 

Finally, on the 24th of July, 1554 that is to say, nine 
months before the period at which we are arrived the very 
day of the feast of Saint-James, protector of Spain, Mary of 
England was united to Philip of Spain. She who might be 
called the Tigress of the North was united to him who was 
to be the Demon of the South. Philip set out from Spain 
accompanied by twenty-two vessels of war, carrying six 
thousand men; but before entering Hampton port, he dis- 
missed all these, having decided to approach England with 
only the ships which Queen Mary sent to meet him. These 
numbered eighteen. They were preceded by the largest 
vessel ever built in England, and which was launched 
for this occasion. 

The vessels advanced to meet the prince a distance of 
three leagues from the shore; and there, amid discharges 
of artillery and rolling of drums and flourishes of clarions, 
Philip passed from his own ship into that supplied by his 

He was followed by sixty gentlemen, twelve being 
grandees of Spain; among them, the Duke of Medina-Creli 
and Euy Gomez de Silva had each forty pages and valets. 
"In fine, it was reckoned a marvellous thing, and what 
was never before seen," says Gregorio Leti, the historian 
of Charles V., "that these sixty lords had among them 
twelve hundred and thirty pages and attendants." The 


marriage was celebrated at Windsor. Those who wish to 
know how Queen Mary met her husband, what robe she 
wore, what jewels adorned her, what was the form of the 
amphitheatre surmounted by two thrones which awaited 
the two spouses; those who wish to penetrate further still, 
and learn the manner in which Mass was celebrated, the 
manner in which their Majesties sat down to table, in fine, 
that in which "they arose so adroitly from table, that al- 
though there were before them a quantity of lords and 
ladies, they disappeared through a secret door, and with- 
drew into their chamber" will find these details and many 
others in the historian we have just quoted. 

As to ourselves, interesting and picturesque as those de- 
tails are, they would lead us too far, and we shall return 
to the King of England and Naples, Philip II., who, after 
nine months of marriage, appeared again on the Continent, 
and at the moment when he was least expected, arrived, as 
we have said, at the barriers of the camp, saluted by the 
rolling of drums, the flourishes of trumpets, and by the 
cheers of the German and Spanish soldiers who joined 
his train. 

Charles V. had been one of the first to be informed of 
the unexpected arrival of his son; and glad that Philip had 
no motive (so it appeared, at least) for concealing his pres- 
ence from him in Flanders, since he was come to find him 
in his camp, he made an effort, and, supported by the arms 
of one of his officers, he dragged himself to the door of his 

He was hardly there when he perceived Don Philip ad- 
vancing toward him, amid shouts, drums and trumpets, as 
if he were already master and lord. 

"Well, well," murmured Charles Y., "it is the will 
of God!" But as soon as Philip perceived his father, he 
brought his horse to a standstill, and leaped to the ground; 
then approaching, with his arms stretched out and head 
uncovered and bent, he threw himself at the feet of the 


This humility chased every bad thought from the mind 
of Charles V: He raised Philip, pressed him in his arms, 
and, turning toward those who formed the train of the 

"Thanks, gentlemen," he said, "for having divined the 
joy the presence of my beloved son was to cause, and for 
having announced it beforehand by your cheers and hur- 
rahs. " Then to his son, "Don Philip," he said, "it is 
nearly five years since we have seen each other; come, 
we have many things to converse about." 

And saluting all this crowd, soldiers and officers assem- 
bled before his tent, he leaned on the arm of his son, and 
returned to the pavilion amid cries a thousand times re- 
peated of "Long live the King of England!" and "Long 
live the Emperor of Germany!" and "Long live Don 
Philip!" and "Long live Charles V. !" 

In fact, as the Emperor had presupposed, Philip had 
very many things to say to him. And yet, after Charles 
V. was seated on the divan, and Philip, refusing the honor 
of sitting beside his father, had taken a chair, there was 
a moment's silence. 

It was Charles Y. who first broke this silence, which 
Philip had kept perhaps through respect for his father. 

"My son," said the Emperor, "nothing but your dear 
presence could dissipate the bad impression produced on 
me by the ill news received to-day." 

"The most fatal news of all was already known to me, 
as you can see by my garb, my father, ' ' answered Philip ; 
"we have had the misfortune to lose, you a mother, I a 
grandmother. ' ' 

"You have learned this news in Belgium, have you not, 
my son?" 

Philip bowed. 

"In England, sire, our communications with Spain are 
quite direct, while the courier your Majesty has received 
has been obliged to come here from Grenoa by land; this 
must have delayed him." 


"Yes, it must be as you say," said Charles Y. ; "but 
[i part from this motive of sorrow, my son, I have another 
subject for anxiety." 

"Does your Majesty wish to speak of the election of 
Paul IV., and of the league he has proposed to the King 
of France a league which must be signed at this hour?" 

Charles V. regarded Don Philip with astonishment. 

"My son," said he, "is it also an English vessel which 
has made you as well informed as you are on this point? 
The passage, however, from Civita Vecchia to Portsmouth 
is long. ' ' 

' ' No, sire, the news has come to us from France ; hence 
it happens that I know it before you. The passages of the 
Alps and Tyrol are still encumbered with snows, and have 
delayed your messenger; while ours came straight from 
Ostia to Marseilles, from Marseilles to Boulogne, and from 
Boulogne to London." 

Charles V. frowned. He had long believed it was his 
right to be informed of every grave event that happened 
in the world; and here was his son, who knew before him, 
not only the death of Queen Juana and the election of Paul 
IV., but announced to him a thing of which he was igno- 
rant; namely, the league signed between Henri II. and the 
new Pope. 

But Philip did not appear to perceive the astonishment 
of his father. 

" For that matter, " he continued, "all measures were so 
well taken by Caraffa and his partisans that the treaty was 
sent to the King of France during the conclave. This ex- 
plains the boldness with which, after taking Marienbourg, 
Henri II. marched on Bouvines and on Dinant, with the 
aim, no doubt, of cutting off your retreat. ' ' 

"Oh, oh!" exclaimed Charles, "has he advanced as far 
as you say, and am I threatened with a new surprise like 
that of Innspruck?" 

"No," said Philip, "for I hope your Majesty will not 
refuse to conclude a truce with Henri II." 


"By my soul!" cried the Emperor, "I should be very 
foolish if I refused it, and even if I did not propose it." 

"Sire," said Philip, "such a truce proposed by you 
would render the King of France too proud. And so 
Queen Mary and I have had the idea of devoting our- 
selves to this task in the interest of your dignity." 

"And you are come to ask from me authority to act? 
Be it so : act ; lose no time ; send the most skilful ambassa- 
dors to France they can never arrive too soon. ' ' 

"It is what we have thought of, sire; and we have sent, 
reserving to your Majesty full liberty to repudiate us, Car- 
dinal Pole to King Henri to ask a truce. ' ' 

Charles shook his head. 

"He will not arrive in time," he said; "and Henri will 
be in Brussels before Pole has landed at Calais. ' ' 

"Consequently Pole has gone by Ostend, and has joined 
the King of France at Dinant. " 

"However able a negotiator he may be," said Charles V., 
with a sigh, "I doubt of his success in such a negotiation." 

"I am then very happy to announce to your Majesty that 
he has succeeded," said Philip. "The King of France ac- 
cepts, if not a truce, at least a suspension of arms, during 
which the conditions of a truce will be regulated. The 
monastery of Yocelles, near Cambrai, has been selected by 
him as the place where the conferences are to be held, and 
Cardinal Pole, on coming to Brussels to announce to me the 
result of his mission, told me he did not believe there would 
be any difficulty in coming to an arrangement. ' ' 

Charles Y. regarded Philip with a certain admiration; 
the latter, in the most humble fashion imaginable, had just 
announced to him the happy issue of a negotiation which 
he had regarded as impossible. 

"What will be the duration of this truce?" he said. 

"Real or conventional?" 


4 ' Five years, sire. ' ' 

"And real?" 


"As long as it shall please God." 

"And how long do you believe, Don Philip, that its 
continuance is likely to be pleasing to God?" 

"Why," said the King of England, with an impercep- 
tible smile, "just the time necessary for you to draw from 
Spain a reinforcement of ten thousand Spaniards and for me 
to send you ten thousand Englishmen from England. ' ' 

"My son," said Charles V., "this truce was my most 
ardent desire ; and as it is you who have made it, I promise 
you that it shall be you who will keep it or break it accord- 
ing to your good pleasure. ' ' 

"I do not understand what my august emperor means," 
said Philip, whose self-control could not prevent him from 
darting from his eyes a flash of hope and covetousness. 

He had just got a glimpse, almost within reach of his 
hand, of the sceptre of Spain and the Low Countries, and 
who knows ? perhaps of the imperial crown. 

Eight days after, a truce was signed in these terms: 

1 ' There shall be a truce for five years, as well on sea as 
on land, to be equally enjoyed by all the people, states, 
kingdoms, and provinces of the Emperor, the King of 
France, and King Philip. 

"During all this space of time of five years, there shall 
be a suspension of hostilities, and, however, each of these 
potentates shall keep whatever he has taken in the course 
of the war. 

"His Holiness Paul IY. is comprehended in this truce." 

Philip himself presented this treaty to the Emperor, who 
cast an almost frightened glance on the impassive counte- 
nance of his son. 

All that was wanting to the treaty was the signature of 
Charles V. 

Charles Y. signed. 

Then, when with infinite difficulty he had traced the 
seven letters of his name 

"Sire," said he, giving for the first time this title to his 
son, "return to London, and be ready to meet me at Brus- 
sels on my first summons. ' ' 




ON FEIDAY the 25th. of October, 1555, there were 
great crowds in the streets of the city of Brussels, 
not only of the people of the capital of southern 
Brabant, but of the other Flemish states of the Emperor 
Charles V. 

All this multitude was pressing toward the royal palace, 
which no longer exists, but which then towered over the 
city from the summit of Caudenberg. 

The occasion of this excitement was that a great assem- 
bly, the cause of which was yet unknown, had been con- 
voked by the Emperor, and, having been adjourned once 
before, was to be held to-day. 

For this reason, the interior of the grand hall had been 
adorned and hung with tapestry on the eastern side that is 
to say, in the direction of the barriers and a sort of scaffold 
had been there constructed, covered with magnificent carpets 
and surmounted by a dais with the imperial arms, protect- 
ing three armchairs, empty for the time, but evidently des- 
tined to be soon occupied: that in the centre by the Em- 
peror, that on the right by Don Philip, who had arrived the 
evening before, and that on the left by Charles Y. 's sister, 
Mary of Austria, Queen Dowager of Hungary. 

Benches were arranged parallel to these three chairs, and 
formed with them a kind of hemicycle. 

Other seats were placed in front of the platform, arranged 
like the benches in a theatre. 

King Philip, Queen Mary, Queen Eleonore, widow of 
Frangois L, Maximilian, King of Bohemia, Christina, 


Duchesse de Lorraine, had taken possession of their apart- 
ments at the palace. Charles alone continued to inhabit 
what he called his little house in the park. 

At four in the afternoon he left this little house, mounted 
on a mule, whose gentle pace made him suffer less than any 
other mode of locomotion. As to going on foot, it was im- 
possible to dream of it: the attacks of the gout had re- 
doubled in violence; and the Emperor was not sure even 
that he could walk from the threshold of the door to the 
scaffold of the grand hall, or that he would not have to be 
carried during that short passage. Kings and princes fol- 
lowed the mule of the Emperor on foot. 

The Emperor was clad in the imperial cope, all of cloth 
of gold, over which fell the grand cordon of the Golden 
Fleece. He had the crown on his head; but the sceptre, 
which his hand had no longer the strength to bear, was 
carried before him on a cushion of red velvet. 

The persons who were to occupy the benches placed on 
both sides of the armchairs and in front of the platform had 
been introduced previously into the hall. 

There were, on the right of the armchairs, the knights 
of the Golden Fleece, seated on a tapestried bench. 

On the bench on the left, also tapestried, were the 
princes, the grandees of Spain, and the lords. 

Behind them, on other benches not tapestried, were the 
three councils the council of state, the privy council, and 
the council of finance. 

Finally, on other benches placed in front, were, first, 
the states of Brabant, then the states of Flanders, then the 
other states according to their rank. 

The galleries around the hall had been packed with 
spectators since morning. 

The Emperor entered at a quarter past four; he was 
leaning on the shoulder of William of Orange, surnamed 
later on The Taciturn. 

Beside William of Orange walked Emmanuel Philibert, 
accompanied by his squire and page. 


On the other side, in front of kings and princes, some 
steps to the right of the Emperor, appeared a man of from 
thirty to thirty-five years, unknown to every one, and who 
seemed as much astonished at finding himself there as the 
spectators seemed to be at his presence on the occasion. 

It was Odoardo Maraviglia, drawn from his prison, clad 
in a magnificent garb, and led here without knowing where 
he was going or what was wanted with him. 

On the appearance of the Emperor and his august suite, 
every one rose. 

The Emperor advanced to the front of the platform, 
walking with great difficulty, supported' though he was. 
It was evident that great courage, and especially great 
habitual endurance, were needed to prevent him from 
uttering a groan at every step he took. 

He sat down, having King Philip on his right and Queen 
Mary on his left. 

Then on a sign from him, each did the same, except on 
the one side, the Prince of Orange, Emmanuel Philibert, 
and the two persons forming his suite, and on the other, 
Odoardo Maraviglia, who, free, and dressed, as we have 
said, in a magnificent costume, was looking at the spectacle 
with astonished eyes. 

When everybody was seated, the Emperor made a sign 
to Councillor Philibert Brussellius to open the proceedings. 

Every one was in a state of anxious expectation. The 
countenance of Philip alone remained calm and impassive. 
His eye seemed to see nothing; it could be hardly guessed 
if the blood circulated under that pale and inanimate skin. 
The orator explained in a few words that the kings, princes, 
grandees of Spain, knights of the Golden Fleece, and the 
members of the states of Flanders present in the hall, had 
been convoked to assist at the abdication of the Emperor 
Charles Y. in favor of his son Don Philip, who, starting 
from this moment, succeeded him in his titles of King of 
Castile, Leon, Granada, Navarre, Aragon, Naples, Sicily, 
Majorca, the isles, Indias, and lands of the Pacific and 


Atlantic Oceans, and in those of Archduke of Austria, 
Duke of Burgundy, Lothier, Brabant, Luisbourg, Luxem- 
burg, and Quelieres; of Count of Flanders, Artois, and 
Burgundy; of Palatine of Hainault, Zeland, Holland, Feu- 
rette, Haguenau, Namur, and Zutphen; in fine, of those 
of Prince of Zuane, Marquis of the Holy Empire, Lord of 
Frise, Salmi, Malines, and of the cities and countries 
of Utrecht, Overyssel, and Groeningen. 

The imperial crown was reserved for Ferdinand, already 
King of the Eomans. 

At this reservation, a livid pallor overspread the face of 
Don Philip, and a slight trembling sent a shiver through 
the muscles of his cheeks. 

This abdication, at which all held their breath in aston- 
ishment, was attributed by the orator to the Emperor's de- 
sire to revisit Spain, which he had not seen since twelve 
years, and particularly to the sufferings he experienced 
from the gout sufferings increased by the rigorous climate 
of Flanders and Germany. He finished by praying, in the 
name of the Emperor, the states of Flanders to take in good 
part this cession which he made of them to his son Don 

After concluding the discourse with a peroration in 
which he called upon God to have the august Emperor 
always under his safeguard and protection, Philibert Brus- 
sellius was silent, and resumed his seat. 

Then the Emperor rose in his turn; he was pale, and the 
perspiration of suffering bedewed his countenance. He 
wished to speak, and held in his hand a paper on which 
he had written his discourse, in case his memory failed 

At the first sign shown by him of his intention to speak, 
the confused murmurs which had run through the hall at the 
close of the discourse of Councillor Brussellius ceased as if 
by enchantment; and weak as the Emperor's voice was, the 
moment he opened his mouth, a single word of what he said 
was not lost. It is true that as he progressed in his speech, 


and as lie recalled his toils, his dangers, his great deeds, and 
his plans, his voice rose, his gestures had a larger sweep, his 
eyes became singularly animated, and his accent had some 
of those solemn intonations often heard in the last words of 
the dying. 

"Dear friends," he said, 1 "you have just heard the mo- 
tives which have led me to decide on resigning the sceptre 
and the crown into the hands of my son. Let me add some 
words which will make clearer to your eyes my resolution 
and my thought. Dear friends, several of those who are 
listening to me to-day must remember that it is just forty 
years ago on the 5th of January last, since my grandfather, 
the Emperor Maximilian, of glorious memory, released me 
from his guardianship, and in this very hall, at this very 
hour, when I reckoned hardly fifteen years, made me master 
of all my rights. In the following year, King Ferdinand 
the Catholic, my maternal grandfather, being dead, 1 was 
crowned, being then only sixteen years old. 

"My mother was alive; but, though living and though 
still young, her mind, as you know, was so much affected 
by the death of her husband that she did not feel in a con- 
dition to rule by herself the kingdoms of her father and 
mother, and it became necessary for me, at seventeen years, 
to begin my journeys across the seas by setting out in order 
to take possession of the "kingdom of Spain. Finally, when 
my grandfather, the Emperor Maximilian, died, thirty-six 
years ago I was nineteen then I ventured to become a 
candidate for the imperial crown he had worn, not from 
the desire of ruling over a larger number of countries, but 
in order to watch more efficaciously over the safety of Ger- 
many, of my other realms, and particularly of my beloved 

"It was with this object I undertook and accomplished 

1 We have made no alteration in the discourse of the Emperor, which we 
borrow from a work published in 1830 at Brussels, by the learned conservator 
of the archives of the kingdom, M. L. P. G-achard. 


so many journeys; count them, and you will be yourselves 
astonished at their number and extent. 

"I have passed nine times into upper Germany, six times 
into Spain, seven times into Italy, ten times into Belgium, 
four times into France, twice into England, and twice into 
Africa, which makes in all forty voyages or expeditions. 
Besides these forty voyages or expeditions, I have made 
journeys to visit islands and provinces brought under my 

"For the latter purpose, I have traversed the Mediter-. 
raneaii eight times and the Western Sea three times, which 
I am making ready to cross to-day for the last time. 

"I pass under silence my journey through France, which 
I made from Spain to the Low Countries a journey ren- 
dered necessary, as you know, by grave motives. ' 

, U I have been forced, on account of these numerous and 
long absences, to place at the head of the government of 
these provinces, madame, my good sister, the queen here 
present. Now I know, and the different orders of the state 
know as well as I, how she has acquitted herself of these 

"I have, at the same time I made these journeys, carried 
on many wars ; all these enterprises have been undertaken 
or accepted against my will; and what afflicts me to-day on 
bidding you farewell, my dear friends, is not to be able to 
leave you a peace more stable, an assurance of more certain 
tranquillity. . . . All these things have not been done, as 
you may well think, without protracted toils and great 
fatigue; and the heaviness of that fatigue, the burden of 
those toils, can be measured by seeing my paleness and 
my feebleness. Consequently, let no one believe me so 
ignorant of myself as not, when comparing the responsi- 
bilities thrust upon me by events with the strength granted 
me by God, to have comprehended my insufficiency for the 
mission given me. 

1 The revolt of the people of Ghent. 


' ' But it seems to me that, on account of the mental state 
of my mother and the tender age of my son, it would have 
been a crime to lay down the burden before the proper hour, 
however heavy it might be, which Providence, in giving 
me the crown and sceptre, had imposed on my head and 
on my arm. 

"However, when I last quitted Flanders to go into Ger- 
many, I had already the project of accomplishing the pur- 
pose which I execute to-day; but, seeing the miserable 
condition of affairs, feeling that I had still a remnant of 
strength, moved by the disturbances which agitated the 
Christian republic, attacked at the same time by the Luth- 
erans and the Turks, I my duty to put off the 
time for repose, and to sacrifice to my subjects whatever 
remained to me of strength and existence. I was nearly 
attaining my aim, however, when the German princes and 
the King of France, in violation of their pledged word, 
flung me back into the midst of troubles and battles. The 
former attacked my person, and almost succeeded in making 
me a prisoner in Innspruck ; the latter took possession of 
Metz, which belonged to the domain of the Empire. I hast- 
ened to besiege it myself with a numerous army. I was 
conquered and my army destroyed; but it was not by men, 
it was by the elements. To counterbalance the loss of Metz, 
I wrested Therouanne and Hesdin from the French. I did 
more : I met the King of France at Valenciennes, and forced 
him to withdraw, doing all I could at the battle of Kenty, in 
despair of not being able to do more. 

"But to-day, besides the insufficiency which I have 
recognized in myself, the disease with which I am afflicted 
is become more acute, and prostrates me. 

"Happily, at the very moment God takes from me a 
mother, he gives me a son of an age to govern. Now that 
my strength fails me and that death is approaching, I do 
not care o prefer the love and passion for sovereignty 
to the good and to the repose of my subjects. Instead of 
an infirm old man who has already seen descend into the 


And indeed it was a great spectacle given to the world, 
that of this sovereign, warrior, and Csesar, who, after forty 
years of such power as few men had ever received from 
Providence, descended voluntarily from the throne, and, 
weary in body and crushed in spirit, proclaimed with a loud 
voice the nothingness of human greatness in presence of the 
successor to whom he abandoned it. 

But a spectacle greater still was to come the one just 
promised by the Emperor it was that of a man publicly 
acknowledging a fault committed, and asking pardon of 
him to whom the wrong had been done. 

The Emperor understood that this was expected of him; 
and, mustering all his strength, he gently pushed his son 
away from him. 

It was seen that he was going to .speak a second time, 
and there was silence. 

"Dear friends," resumed the Emperor, "I promised just 
now a public reparation to a man I had offended. Be ye 
all witnesses, therefore, that after boasting of what I have 
done well, I have accused myself of what I have done ill. ' ' 

Then, turning to the unknown man in the magnificent 
costume, whom every one had already remarked 

"Odoardo Maraviglia," he said in a firm voice, "ap- 
proach. ' ' 

The young man to whom this formal invitation was ad- 
dressed grew pale, and, tottering, approached Charles V. 

"Count," said the Emperor, "I have done you serious 
wrong, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, in the person 
of your father, who suffered a cruel death in the prisons of 
Milan. Often has this act been presented to me veiled by 
uncertainty. To-day it appears to me like a spectre clad 
in the winding-sheet of remorse. Comte Maraviglia, here, 
in the face of, beneath the eyes of, men and of God, at the 
moment when about to lay aside the imperial mantle, which 
for thirty-six years has weighed upon my shoulders, I hum- 
ble myself before you, and pray you not only to grant mo 
pardon, but further to ask it for me of the Lord, who will 


perhaps sooner grant it to the petitions of the victim than 
to the supplications of the murderer. ' ' 

Odoardo Maraviglia uttered a cry and fell oh his knees. 

"Magnificent Emperor," he said, "it is not without 
reason that the world has given you the name of august. 
Oh, yes, yes ! I pardon you in the name of my father and 
in my own name ! Yes ; God will pardon you. But from 
whom shall I seek that pardon, august Emperor, which I no 
longer grant myself?" 

Then, rising, "Gentlemen," said Maraviglia, turning to- 
ward the assembly "gentlemen, you behold in me a man 
who tried to assassinate the Emperor, and whom the Em- 
peror has not only pardoned, but of whom he has asked 
pardon. ' ' 

' ' King Don Philip, ' ' he added, bending before him who 
from that moment was to be called Philip II., "the mur- 
derer places himself in your hands. ' ' 

' ' My son, ' ' said Charles V. , whose strength was failing 
him for the second time, "I recommend to you this man; 
let his life be sacred to you!" 

And he fell back almost fainting on his armchair. 

"Ah, my dear Emmanuel!" said the page of the Duke 
of Savoy, who managed to reach the prince on account of 
the commotion occasioned by the Emperor's faintness, "how 
good you are ! how great ! how I recognize you in what has 

And before Emmanuel Philibert could prevent it, Leone- 
Leona had kissed his hands almost with as much respect as 

The ceremony, a moment interrupted by the unforeseen 
accident we have related, which was not the least affecting 
of the scenes of that solemn day, was about to resume its 
course; for, in order that the abdication might be complete, 
after Charles V. had given, it was necessary that Philip 
should accept. 

Philip, who had made a sign of assent to the recommen- 
dation of the Emperor, again bowed humbly before him. 


And indeed it was a great spectacle given to the world, 
that of this sovereign, warrior, and Csesar, who, after forty 
years of such power as few men had ever received from 
Providence, descended voluntarily from the throne, and, 
weary in body and crushed in spirit, proclaimed with a loud 
voice the nothingness of human greatness in presence of the 
successor to whom he abandoned it. 

But a spectacle greater still was to come the one just 
promised by the Emperor it was that of a man publicly 
acknowledging a fault committed, and asking pardon of 
him to whom the wrong had been done. 

The Emperor understood that this was expected of him; 
and, mustering all his strength, he gently pushed his son 
away from him. 

It was seen that he was going to .speak a second time, 
and there was silence. 

"Dear friends," resumed the Emperor, "I promised just 
now a public reparation to a man I had offended. Be ye 
all witnesses, therefore, that after boasting of what I have 
done well, I have accused myself of what I have done ill. ' ' 

Then, turning to the unknown man in the magnificent 
costume, whom every one had already remarked 

"Odoardo Maraviglia," he said in a firm voice, "ap- 
proach. ' ' 

The young man to whom this formal invitation was ad- 
dressed grew pale, and, -tottering, approached Charles Y. 

"Count," said the Emperor, "I have done you serious 
wrong, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, in the person 
of your father, who suffered a cruel death in the prisons of 
Milan. Often has this act been presented to me veiled by 
uncertainty. To-day it appears to me like a spectre clad 
in the winding-sheet of remorse. Comte Maraviglia, here, 
in the face of, beneath the eyes of, men and of God, at the 
moment when about to lay aside the imperial mantle, which 
ior thirty-six years has weighed upon my shoulders, I hum- 
ble myself before you, and pray you not only to grant mo 
pardon, but further to ask it for me of the Lord, who will 


perhaps sooner grant it to the petitions of the victim than 
to the supplications of the murderer. ' ' 

Odoardo Maraviglia uttered a cry and fell oh his knees. 

"Magnificent Emperor," he said, "it is not without 
reason that the world has given you the name of august. 
Oh, yes, yes ! I pardon you in the name of my father and 
in my own name ! Yes ; Grod will pardon you. But from 
whom shall I seek that pardon, august Emperor, which I no 
longer grant myself?" 

Then, rising, "Gentlemen," said Maraviglia, turning to- 
ward the assembly "gentlemen, you behold in me a man 
who tried to assassinate the Emperor, and whom the Em- 
peror has not only pardoned, but of whom he has asked 
pardon. ' ' 

"King Don Philip," he added, bending before him who 
from that moment was to be called Philip II., "the mur- 
derer places himself in your hands." 

' ' My son, ' ' said Charles V. , whose strength was failing 
him for the second time, "I recommend to you this man; 
let his life be sacred to you!" 

And he fell back almost fainting on his armchair. 

"Ah, my dear Emmanuel!" said the page of the Duke 
of Savoy, who managed to reach the prince on account of 
the commotion occasioned by the Emperor's faintness, "how 
good you are ! how great ! how I recognize you in what has 

And before Emmanuel Philibert could prevent it, Leone- 
Leona had kissed his hands almost with as much respect as 

The ceremony, a moment interrupted by the unforeseen 
accident we have related, which was not the least affecting 
of the scenes of that solemn day, was about to resume its 
course ; for, in order that the abdication might be complete, 
after Charles V. had given, it was necessary that Philip 
should accept. 

Philip, who had made a sign of assent to the recommen- 
dation of the Emperor, again bowed humbly before him, 


and in Spanish a lan<rii;i,u-<' which many of the audience 
did not speak, but which almost all understood he said 
in a voice marked for the first time perhaps by a shade of 
emotion : 

"I have not deserved, most invincible Emperor and my 
very good father, I could never have believed that I should 
deserve, a paternal love so great that there assuredly has 
never been anything like it in the world, never, at least, one 
that has produced such effects that it at once covers me with 
confusion, when I view the little merit which I have, and 
fills me with gratitude and respect in presence of your-great- 
ness. But since it has pleased you to treat me so tenderly 
and generously as a consequence of your august goodness, 
exercise the same goodness, my very dear father, by con- 
tinuing in the belief that every effort shall be made on my 
part to have your decision in my favor universally approved 
and accepted, as I intend governing in such a manner as to 
convince the states of the affection I have always entertained 
for them." 

At the conclusion of these words, he kissed the hand 
of his father several times; while the latter, pressing him 
to his breast, said 

"I wish you, my son, the most precious blessings of 
Heaven and its divine aid." 

Then Don Philip kissed the hand of his father for the 
last time, wiped a tear from his eyes which probably was 
not there, rose, turned toward the states, saluted them, and, 
with his hat in his hand the same attitude in which all 
were except the Emperor, who was covered and seated he 
pronounced in French the following words : 

"Gentlemen, I would that I could speak better the lan- 
guage of this country, in order that you might the better 
understand the good affection and favor I bear you. But 
as I do not know it as well as would be necessary for my 
purpose, I will ask the Bishop of Arras to act in my name." 

At the same time, Antoine Perrenot de Grrandville, who 
was afterward cardinal, took his stand as interpreter of the 


sentiments of the prince. He eulogized the zeal of Don 
Philip for the good of his subjects, and expressed the reso- 
lution he had adopted of conforming exactly to the good 
and wise instructions the Emperor had given him. 

Then Queen Mary, the Emperor's sister, governess for 
twenty -six years of the provinces of the Low Countries, 
rose in turn, and in a few words resigned into the hands 
of her nephew the regency which she had received from 
her brother. 

After this, Philip swore to maintain the rights and privi- 
leges of his subjects, and all the members of the assembly, 
princes, grandees of Spain, knights of the Golden Fleece, 
deputies of the states either in their own name or in the 
name of those they represented, swore obedience to him. 

This double oath pronounced, Charles Y. rose, placed 
Don Philip on his throne, put the crown on his head, and 
said in a loud voice 

"Grant, O Lord, that this crown be not for your elect 
a crown of thorns!" 

Then he made a step toward the door. 

Immediately Don Philip, the Prince of Orange, Emman- 
uel Philibert, and all the princes and lords rushed forward 
to support the Emperor; but he made a sign to Maraviglia, 
who approached, hesitating, for he could not comprehend 
what the Emperor wanted with him. 

The Emperor wished to have no other support in retiring 
than that afforded by Maraviglia, for whose father's death 
he was responsible, and who, in retaliation for the bloody 
deed, had tried to slay him. 

But, as the second arm of the Emperor fell inert by his 

' ' Sire, ' ' said Emmanuel Philibert, ' ' allow my page Leone 
to be the second support on which your Majesty may lean; 
and the honor you do him, I shall consider done to myself. ' ' 

And he pushed Leone toward the Emperor. 

Charles V. looked at the page and recognized him. 

"Ah, ah!" he said raising his arm, in order that the 


latter might present his shoulder, "it is the young man 
of the diamond. You want to be reconciled to me, then, 
fair page?" 

Then, looking at his hand, on the little finger of which 
only he had, on account of his cruel sufferings, been able 
to wear a gold ring 

' ' You lost something by waiting, fair page, ' ' he contin- 
ued; "instead of the diamond, you will have only this sim- 
ple ring. It is true it has my seal on it, which perhaps may 
be a compensation." 

And drawing it from his little finger, he put it on the 
thumb of Leone, the thumb of that delicate hand being 
the only finger large enough to hold it. 

Then he left the hall under the eyes and amid the accla- 
mations of the assembly eyes that would have been still 
more curious, acclamations that would have been still more 
enthusiastic, if the spectators had been able to guess that 
this monarch who was descending from a throne, that this 
Christian who was marching toward solitude, that this sin- 
ner who was bent under the weight of pardon, was advanc- 
ing to a tomb in the near future, leaning not only on the 
son, but on the daughter of that unhappy Francesco Mara- 
viglia, who was done to death by his orders, one gloomy 
night in September, in a dungeon of the fortress of Milan. 

It was repentance sustained by prayer ; that is to say, if 
we are to believe the words of Jesus Christ, the most agree- 
able spectacle here below to the eyes of the Lord. 

But, on reaching the gate of the solitary street where his 
mule awaited him, the Emperor decided that neither of these 
young people should take a step further, and he dismissed 
Odoardo to his new lord, Don Philip and Leone to his old 
master, Emmanuel Philibert. 

Then without other guard or suite than the groom who 
held the bridle of his peaceful steed, he took his way to his 
little house in the park; so that none who saw him riding 
along in the darkness even guessed that this humble pilgrim 
was the same man whose abdication was at that very hour 


the sole talk of Brussels, and soon to be the talk of the 
whole world. 

Charles V., on arriving at the gate of this little house, 
on whose site the palace of the House of Representatives 
stands to-day, found it open. 

The groom, therefore, had only to push one of the wings 
aside to admit the rider, the mule, and himself. 

Then, having on the order of the Emperor brought the 
mule as close as possible to the door of the house, in order 
that the passage to the parlor might be as short as possible, 
he received his master in his arms, and placed him on the 

The door was open, as the gate had been. 

The Emperor paid no attention to this circumstance, 
plunged as he was in reflections which it is more easy for 
our readers to imagine than for us to relate. 

Supported on one side by his staff, which he found in 
the same place he had left it, behind the door, on the other 
by his servant, he gained the parlor, which was hung with 
thick warm tapestry, furnished with thick carpets, and had 
a blazing fire in the immense chimney. 

The parlor was lighted only by the glare of the flame, 
which was coiling greedily around the brands while devour- 
ing them. 

He stretched himself on the sofa; and, having dismissed 
the groom, he recalled each of the phases of that life crowded 
with the events of a whole half -century; and what a half- 
century! that in which lived Henry VIII. , Maximilian, 
Clement VII., Frangois I., Soliman and Luther. He forced 
his memory to recross the road he had travelled, sailing up 
the stream of his years, like a traveller who, toward the 
close of his life, would sail up the river with flowery and 
perfumed banks which he descended in his youth. 

The journey was immense, magnificent, marvellous; it 
was made through the adoration of courtiers, the acclama- 
tions of the world, and the genuflections of the multitudes 
who ran to greet this gigantic fortune on its passage. 


Suddenly, in the midst of this dream, which was less 
that of a man than of a god, one of the brands on the 
hearth burst, and one fragment fell in the ashes, while 
the other rolled on the carpet, from which a thick smoke 
immediately began to rise. 

This incident, commonplace though it was, and perhaps 
for that very reason, brought the Emperor back to reality. 

"Ho!" he called, "hoi who is on service here? Some 
one come quick!" 

There was no answer. 

"Is there nobody in the antechambers?" cried the ex- 
Emperor, growing impatient and striking the floor with his 

This second call met with no more reply than the first. 

"Let some one come, I say, and fix this fire, and let 
him make haste!" said Charles V., now more impatient 
than ever. 

Same silence. 

"Oh!" said he, dragging himself from one piece of fur- 
niture to another, in order to reach the chimney, "if Provi- 
dence had wished to inspire me with repentance for what 
I have done, the lesson has come very soon." 

And then he himself, after many painful efforts, suc- 
ceeded in regulating the fire with his own hands which 
could scarcely hold the tongs from pain. 

All, from princes to valets, were busy around the new 
king, Don Philip. 

The Emperor kicked back the last cinders smoking on 
the carpet, when a step was heard in the antechamber, and 
a human form appeared framed by the door and outlined 
in the shadow. 

"At last!" murmured the Emperor. 

"Sire," said the new-comer, who saw that Charles Y. was 
mistaken as to his identity, "I ask pardon of your Majesty 
for thus presenting myself before you; but, having found 
all the doors open, and seeing nobody in the antechambers 
to announce me, I have ventured to announce myself." 


"Announce yourself, then, sir," replied Charles, who 
was quickly learning, as we see, his apprenticeship as a 
private individual. "Come, who are you?" 

"Sire," replied the unknown, in the most respectful 
tone, and bowing to the very ground, "I am Gaspard de 
Chatillon, Sire of Coligny, Admiral of France, and envoy 
extraordinary from his Majesty King Henri II. ' ' 

"Monsieur envoy extraordinary of his Majesty King 
Henri II.," said Charles, smiling with a certain bitterness, 
"you have mistaken the door; it is no longer with me that 
you have business, it is with King Philip II. , my successor 
to the throne of Naples since nine months, and to the throne 
of Spain and the Indias since twenty minutes. ' ' 

"Sire," said Coligny, in the same respectful tone and 
bowing a second time, "whatever change may have occurred 
in the fortunes of Don Philip since nine months or since 
twenty minutes, you are always for me the elect of Ger- 
many, the very great, very holy, and very august Emperor 
Charles Y. ; and as it is to your Majesty that the letter of 
my sovereign is addressed, permit me to place it in your 
Majesty's hands." 

"In that case, monsieur, help me to light these tapers," 
said Charles V., "for the accession of my son Don Philip 
has taken away from me even my last lackey." 

And the Emperor, aided by the admiral, lighted the 
tapers in the candelabra, in order to be able to read the 
letter addressed to him by Henri II., and perhaps also, 
moved by some curiosity to see the man who for three 
years had been such a doughty adversary of his. 

Gaspard de Chatillon, Sire of Coligny, was, at the period 
we have reached, a man of thirty- eight or thirty-nine years, 
with piercing eyes, a martial presence, and a tall and well- 
built figure. Being of a loyal and intrepid heart, he was 
held in great esteem by Frangois I. and Henri II., as he 
was also to be by Frangois II. 

Immense as was the massacre of the 24th of August, 
1572, there was needed, to render the miserable assassi- 

(8) Vol. 20 


nation of such a man possible, the hereditary hatred of 
Henri, Due de Cruise, joined to the hypocrisy of Catherine 
de Medicis and the weakness of Charles IX. 

This hatred, which was beginning .to separate the illus- 
trious admiral from his old friend Frangois de Cruise at the 
very time we are introducing him to the reader, had its 
birth on the battlefield of Renty. In their youth, these 
two great captains, whose genius united would have wrought 
such marvels, had been intimate friends; there were no la- 
bors, no pleasures, no exercises which they did not share. 
In their studies of antiquity, they proposed as models for 
themselves not only the men who have left fine examples 
of courage, but also those who have left fine examples of 

This mutual affection went so far that "they wore," 
says Brantome, ''the same ornaments and the same livery." 
When King Henri II. sent a messenger to Charles V., and 
this messenger was not the Connetable de Montmorency, it 
could only be the Amiral de Coligny or the Due de Cruise. 

The Emperor regarded the admiral with a certain admi- 
ration. It was impossible, we are assured by contemporary 
historians, to see any man who gave one a better idea of a 
great captain. 

But, at this very same moment, it occurred to Charles 
that Coligny had been sent to Brussels, not precisely to give 
him the letter he held in his hand, but rather to report to 
the court of France what had taken place in the palace of 
Brussels on that famous day of the 25th of October, 1555. 
So the first question the Emperor put to Coligny, when a 
long gaze at the countenance of Coligny had allowed him 
to satisfy his curiosity, was the following: 

"When, did you arrive, M. 1' Amiral?" 

"This morning, sire," replied Coligny. 

"And you bring me " 

"This letter from his Majesty King Henri II." 

And he presented the letter to the Emperor. 

The Emperor took it, and made some vain attempts to 


break the seal, to such a degree were his hands tortured 
and twisted by the gout. 

Then the admiral offered to render him this service. 

Charles V. handed him the letter, laughing. 

"Am I not, in truth, M. 1'Amiral," he said, "a nice 
cavalier for running and breaking a lance I who can no 
longer even break a seal?" 

The admiral returned the letter opened to Charles Y. 

"No, no," said the Emperor, "read it yourself; my sight 
is as bad as my hand. I think, then, you will acknowledge 
that I have done well to resign everything, force and power, 
into the hands of one younger and more adroit. ' ' 

The Emperor emphasized the last word. 

The admiral did not answer, but began reading the letter. 

During the reading, Charles Y. , who pretended to see no 
longer, was devouring Coligny with his eagle glance. 

The message was quite simple a letter announcing to the 
Emperor the final completion of the truce; the preliminaries 
had been arranged five or six months before. 

The letter read, Coligny took from his jerkin the parch- 
ments signed by the plenipotentiaries, and sealed with the 
royal seal of France. 

It was the exchange made for the corresponding papers 
sent previously by Charles Y. to Henri II. , signed by the 
Spanish, German and English plenipotentiaries, and sealed 
with the seal of the Empire. 

The Emperor cast his eyes over these political contracts; 
and as if he divined that a year would hardly pass before 
they were broken, he threw them on a large table covered 
with a black cloth, and took the admiral's arm to help him 
to his seat. 

"M. 1'Amiral," said he, "is it not a miracle of Provi- 
dence that I, weak and retired from the world, should 
to-day be supported by an arm that was once very nearly 
overturning me at the height of my power. ' ' 

"Oh, sire!" replied the admiral, "only one man could 
have overturned Charles Y., and that was Charles Y. him- 


self; and if it has been the lot of us poor pygmies to 
struggle against a giant, it was because God wished in a 
surpassing manner to prove to the world our weakness 
and your power." 

Charles V. smiled. It was evident the compliment did 
not displease him coming from a man like the admiral. 

However, sitting down and making a sign to Coligny to 
be seated also 

"Enough," he said, "enough, admiral. I am no longer 
emperor, I am no longer king, I am no longer prince; I 
must have nothing to do now with flattery. Let us change 
the conversation. How is my brother Henri ?" 

"Wonderfully well, sire," replied Coligny, obeying the 
invitation to be seated when repeated for the third time. 

"Ah, how glad I am of that!" said Charles; "so glad 
that my heart dances with joy, and not without cause, for 
I hold it great honor to have sprung, on the maternal side, 
from that lily that bears and supports the most celebrated 
crown in the world. But, ' ' he continued, affecting to lead 
back the conversation to the commonplaces of life, ' ' I have 
been sometimes told nevertheless that this well-beloved 
brother of mine was getting gray; and yet it seems to me 
not three days ago since he was in Spain, a youngster with- 
out a hair on his face. Ah, twenty years, however, have 
slipped by since then!" 

And Charles Y. heaved a sigh, as the mere fact of these 
words escaping his lips opened up the vast horizon of the 

"It is true, sire," returned Coligny, in reply to the 
question of the Emperor, "that his Majesty King Henri 
is beginning to count gray hairs, but by twos and threes 
at the most. Now, are not many people, younger than 
he is, grayheaded?" 

"Oh, what you say is quite true!" replied the Emperor. 
"And now, as I have questioned you on the gray hairs of 
my brother Henri, I must tell you the history of my own. 
I was almost the same age, thirty-six or thirty-seven 


scarcely; it was on my return from Goulette and arrival 
in Naples. You know the beauty of that admirable city 
of Naples, M. 1'Amiral, and the beauty and grace of the 
dames who dwell there. ' ' 

Coligny bowed smiling. 

' ' I am a man, ' ' continued Charles ; li I wished to merit 
their favor like others. So, on the day of my arrival, I 
summoned my barber to curl and perfume me. This man 
presented me a glass, that I might follow the operations as 
he went along. It was long since I had looked at myself; 
I had been too busy making war on the Turks, the allies of 
my good brother FranQois I. Suddenly I cried out, 'I say, 
barber, what is that, my friend?' 'Sire,' he answered, 'it 
is two or three white hairs. ' Now, I must tell you the flat- 
terer lied: it was not two or three, but, on the contrary, a 
dozen. 'Quick! quick! master barber,' I jerked out, 'pull 
them out; don't leave a single one.' He did so; but do 
you know what happened? Some time after, on looking 
in the glass again, I found that for every one he had 
plucked out, ten had returned. So that, if I had plucked 
these out, too, in less than a year I should have been as 
white as a swan. Tell my brother Henri, M. 1'Amiral, to 
guard his three white hairs preciously, and not allow them 
to be plucked out, even by the fair hands of Madame de 
Yalentinois. " 

"I will not fail, sire," replied Coligny, laughing. 

"And talking of Madame de Valentinois, " continued 
Charles, showing by the transition that he was not a stran- 
ger to the scandals of the court of Henri II., "what news 
have you, M. 1'Amiral, of your dear uncle, the great 

"Excellent," replied the admiral, "although his head 
is quite white." 

"Yes," said Charles, "his head is white; but he is like 
the leeks, with a white head and the rest of the body green. 
And except this was the case, he would not be such a favor- 
ite as he is with the great ladies of the court. But, ah, by 


the way for I do not like letting you go without having 
news of everybody how is the daughter of our old friend 
Fran9ois I.?" 

And Charles emphasized with a smile these three words 
our old friend. 

"Does your Majesty mean Madame Marguerite of 

"She is still called the fourth Grace, the tenth Muse, 
is she not?" 

' ' Always, sire ; and she deserves the title more and more 
every day, by the protection she grants to our great geniuses, 
such as MM. de 1'Hopital, Eonsard and Dorat. " 

"Eh!" said Charles V., "it looks as if our brother Henri 
II. was jealous of his royal neighbors, and was determined 
to keep this beautiful pearl for himself alone : I hear noth- 
ing said of the marriage of Madame Marguerite, and she 
must be" (Charles appeared to be making a calculation) 
"very nearly thirty- two. " 

"Yes, sire, but she hardly looks twenty; she is fresher 
and lovelier every day!" 

"It is the privilege of roses to bud and bloom anew 
every spring," returned Charles. "But, speaking of lords 
and roses, tell me, my dear Coligny, tell me how our young 
Queen of Scotland is getting along at the court of France ? 
Could I not help you in arranging matters with my daugh- 
ter-in-law of England?" 

"Oh, sire, there is no hurry," replied Coligny; "and 
your Majesty, who knows so well the age of our princesses, 
must be aware that the Queen of Scotland is hardly thirteen 
years old. Now she is I do not think I am revealing a 
secret in confiding this to your Majesty she is to wed the 
Dauphin Fra^ois, and the marriage cannot take place for 
a year or two. ' ' 

"Stay a moment; stay a moment, my dear admiral. I 
am trying to recall something," said Charles Y. "I think 
there is somewhere in my memory a reminiscence which 
may serve as a warning to my brother Henri II., although 


it is based merely on cabalistic science. Ah! I have it. 
But first, can you tell me what has become of a young lord 
named Gabriel de Lorges, Comte de Montgommery ?" 

' ' Certainly : he is at the court of the king, with whom he 
is a great favorite, and is a captain in the Scotch Gruard. ' ' 

u A great favorite ! indeed!" said Charles, pensively. 

"Have you anything to say against this young lord?" 
asked Coligny, respectfully. 

"No. But I have a story to tell you; listen." 

"I am listening, sire." 

"When I was crossing France, with the permission of 
my brother FranQois L, in order to chastise the revolt of my 
well-beloved fellow-countrymen and subjects of Ghent, the 
King of France paid me as you may remember, although 
your beard had hardly sprouted at the time the King of 
France paid me all kinds of honor. He sent the dauphin 
with a multitude of young lords and pages to meet me at 
Fontainebleau. It is as well to tell you, my dear admiral, 
that I had no fancy for a journey through France, and, 
but for stern necessity, would have preferred another route. 
Everything had been done to make me distrust the loyalty 
of King Frangois I. , and I do not mind confessing that I 
myself sometimes was afraid (very groundlessly, as the 
event proved) that my brother of France might take advan- 
tage of the occasion and retaliate for the treaty of Madrid. 
I had brought with me, then (just as if human science could 
outweigh the purposes of Grod), a very able man, a renowned 
astrologer, who, by the inspection of the faces of people, 
judged at once whether a man venturing among such people 
was in danger of his life or liberty. ' ' 

The admiral smiled. 

' ' Wait, and you shall see. We were then on the road 
from Orleans to Fontainebleau, when suddenly we saw 
a great cortege approach us. It was, as I told you, the 
Dauphin of France with a crowd of lords and pages. 
At first, in the distance, seeing only the dust which en- 
veloped the horses, we believed it was a troop of men- at- 


arms, and we halted. But soon, through the gray cloud 
formed by this dust, we saw satin and velvet shining, and 
gold sparkling. Evidently this troop, so far from being 
hostile, was an escort of honor. We proceeded, therefore, 
on our way, full of confidence in the word of King Frangois 
I. The cavalcades soon met, and the dauphin, advancing, 
complimented me in the name of his father. The compli- 
ment was so gracious and so calculated to set at rest oh ! 
not my suspicions. God, to whom I am about to conse- 
crate my life, is my witness that never for a moment did I 
suspect my good brother! the compliment, I repeat, was 
so gracious that I wished to embrace the young prince on 
the spot. Now, while I was holding him in my arms, for, 
I believe, a good minute, the two troops mingled together; 
and the young lords and pages in the suite of the dauphin, 
curious to " observe me, doubtless because of some little 
noise that I have made in the world, clustered around me, 
approaching as near as they could. Then I noticed that 
my astrologer, an Italian from Milan, named Angelo Poli- 
castro, had made his way through them on horseback, and 
taken a position on my left. This seemed to me audacious 
the notion of such a man mingling with such a fine and 
rich nobility." 

' 'Oh, Signor Angelo, ' I said, 'what are you doing there ?' 

" 'Sire,' he replied, 'I am in my place.' 

' ' ' No matter ! keep a little further back, Signor Angelo. ' 

" 'I cannot, I must not, my august lord,' he answered. 

"Thereupon I suspected something had occurred likely 
to disturb the harmony of my journey; so, fearing he might 
obey my first injunction 

1 'Eemain, then, Signor Angelo,' I said; 'remain, since 
you are here with a good intention. Only when we enter 
the castle, you will tell me why you have taken up such 
a position, will you not?' 

kt 'Oh, sire, I shall not fail, the thing being my duty; 
but turn your head to the left, and observe that blond 
young man who is near me, and who wears the hair long. ' 


"I looked from the corner of my eye; the young man 
was the more remarkable, and it was the easier singling 
him out that he looked like a foreigner, an Englishman, 
and was the only one who wore his hair long. 

" 'Well, I see him,' I answered. 

" 'That is enough,' said the astrologer 'for the mo- 
ment, at least ; later on I shall speak to your Majesty. ' 

"In truth, I had hardly entered the castle and withdrawn 
to my apartments to change my toilet, when Signor Angelo 
followed me. 

" 'Well,' I asked, 'what have you to tell me about this 
young man?' 

" 'Have you noticed, sire, the furrow this young man 
has between the eyebrows, although so young ?' 

"'No, faith,' I replied; 'not having examined him so 
nearly as you. ' 

' ' ' Well, that furrow is what we men of the cabala call 
the line of death. Sire, that young man will kill a king!' 

" 'A king or an emperor?' I asked. 

" 'I cannot say, sire; but he will strike a head wearing 
a crown. ' 

' ' ' Ah, ah ! you have no means of knowing if this head 
will be mine ? ' 

" 'Yes, sire; but for this I shall need a lock of his 
hair. ' 

" 'Good! a lock of his hair how will you get it?' 

" 'I do not know, but I must have it.' 

"I began to reflect. At this moment the gardener's 
daughter entered, carrying a basket of flowers which she 
came to arrange in the vases on the mantelpiece and in 
those on the consoles. When she had finished, I took her 
by the hand, and drew her toward me. Then, taking two 
new gold maximilians from my pocket, I gave them to her. 
She thanked me. 

" 'And new,' I said, kissing her on the forehead, 'would 
you like to earn ten times as many ?' 

She cast down her eyes and blushed. 


" 'Oh!' said I to her, " 'it is not that there is no ques- 
tion of that ' 

" 'Of what, then, lord Emperor?' she asked. 

" 'Come here,' I said, leading her to the window, and 
pointing to the blond young man who was amusing himself 
running the quintaine in the court; 'you see that young 
lord ?' 

" 'Yes, I see him.' 

tk l What do you think of him ?' 

' ' ' He is very handsome and splendidly dressed. ' 

" 'Well, bring me a lock of his hair to-morrow morning, 
and, instead of two gold Maximilians, you shall have 

' 'But how can I get the hair of this young man ?' she 
asked, regarding me naively. 

" 'Oh! upon my word, my fair girl, I have nothing to 
do with that; it is for you to find the way. All that I can 
do is to give you a Bible. ' 

'"A Bible?' 

"Yes; that you may see what means Delilah adopted to 
cut the hair of Samson. ' 

' ' The young girl blushed again, but it seemed as if the 
information was sufficient; for she went away at once, pen- 
sive and smiling, and the next day she returned, with a lock 
of hair gleaming like gold. Ah ! the most simple woman is 
more cunning than the craftiest of us all, M. 1'Amiral!" 

"Does your Majesty not intend finishing the story ?" 

"Oh, certainly. I sent the lock of hair to Signer An- 
gelo, who made his cabalistic experiments on it, and said 
it was not I, but a prince bearing the fleur-de-lis in his coat 
of arms, whom the horoscope threatened. Well, my dear 
Coligny, the blond young man with the line of death be- 
tween the eyebrows, the Seigneur de Lorges, Comte de 
Montgommery, captain in the Scotch Guard of my brother 

"What ! Your Majesty suspects ?' ' 

"Oh," said Charles, rising to indicate that the audience 


was over, "I suspect nothing. God forbid! I only repeat 
to you, word for word, as a thing that might be useful to 
my brother Henri, the horoscope of Signor Angelo Poli- 
castro; and I advise his Majesty to pay good attention to 
this line that happens to be between the two eyebrows 
of his captain of the Scotch Guard, which is called the 
line of death, reminding him that it specially threatens 
a prince bearing the fleur-de-lis in his coat of arms." 

"Sire," said Coligny, "his Majesty shall be informed of 
the friendly warning you have given him. ' ' 

"And that you may not forget it, my dear Coligny, ac- 
cept this," said Charles, throwing round the neck of the 
ambassador the magnificent gold chain he was himself wear- 
ing, from which hung that diamond star called the star of 
the west, in honor of the western possessions of the kings 
of Spain. 

Coligny wished to receive the gift on his knees; but 
Charles would not allow this mark of respect, and, holding 
him in his arms, he kissed him on both cheeks. 

At the door, Coligny encountered Emmanuel Philibert, 
who, as soon as the ceremony was over, or rather, a little 
before, left everything to offer his homage at the feet of that 
Emperor who was now greater in his eyes than before he 
abdicated his greatness. 

The two captains saluted each other courteously; both 
had met on the field of battle, and their mutual esteem was 
on a level with their courage ; that is to say, lofty and grand. 

"Your Majesty," said Coligny, "has nothing else to say 
to me for the king my master ?" 

"No, nothing." Then, looking at Emmanuel Philibert, 
he smiled. 

"Unless, my dear admiral, that, if our health permits 
us, we devote some attention to the task of finding a hus- 
band for Madame Marguerite of France. ' ' 

Then, leaning on the arm of Emmanuel 

"Come, my dear Emmanuel," he said, returning to the 
parlor, "it seems an age since I saw you!" 




FOR those of our readers who wish to see the issue of 
every occurrence and the philosophy of every event, 
we have decided to write the present chapter, which 
perhaps may interfere for a moment with the march of our 
action, but which will allow the eye, resting for a while on 
the Emperor Charles, to follow the fortunes of that illus- 
trious sovereign, concealed, though they were, by the ob- 
scurity of his new life from the day of his abdication to that 
of his death; that is to say, from the 25th of October, 1555, 
to the 21st of September, 1558. 

After the conqueror of Frangois I. has been laid in the 
sepulchre, whither his rival has preceded him by nine years, 
we shall return to the living, to combats and festivals, to 
scenes in which love and hatred play their several parts; 
in fine, to all those immense and confused murmurs which 
cradle the dead, waiting in the depths of their tombs for the 
eternal resurrection. 

The different political affairs which Charles V. had to 
regulate in the Low Countries, and the abdication of the 
Empire in favor of his brother Ferdinand an abdication 
which followed that of his hereditary states in favor of his 
son Don Philip still kept him nearly a year in Brussels; 
so that it was only in the first days of September, 1556, that 
he could quit that city and set out for Grhent, escorted by 
all the grandees, nobles, ambassadors, magistrates, captains, 
and officers in Belgium. 

King Philip had expressly desired to conduct his father 
to the place of embarkation; that is to say, to Flessingen, 


which, the Emperor reached in his litter, accompanied by 
the two queens, his sisters, with their ladies, King Philip 
with his court, and Emmanuel Philibert with his two in- 
separable companions, Leone and Scianca-Ferro. 

The adieus were long and sad : not only was a man who 
had held the world clasped in his two arms separating from 
his sisters, from his son, from a grateful and devoted 
nephew, but he was, moreover, separating from the world, 
from life almost, his intention being to retire into a monas- 
tery immediately on his arrival in Spain. 

Consequently, the ex- emperor wished to have these 
adieus over on the eve of his departure, saying that if 
they were to take place on the morrow, at the moment he 
was going to embark, he would never have the courage 
to set his foot on board the vessel. 

The first person Charles Y. took leave of because, per- 
haps, in his heart he loved him least was Don Philip. 
After receiving his father's kiss, the King of Spain knelt 
and asked his blessing. 

Charles Y. gave it to him with that majesty which never 
deserted him under any circumstances, and recommended 
him to keep peace with the Allied Powers, particularly with 
France, if it were possible. 

Don Philip promised his father to comply with his 
wishes, expressing a doubt, however, as to the possibility 
of peace with France, but asseverating that he would never- 
theless keep, on his side, the truce faithfully, as long as his 
cousin Henri II. did not break it. 

After this Charles embraced Emmanuel Philibert, hold- 
ing him a long time in his arms, as if he could not bring 
himself to separate from him. 

Finally, calling Don Philip, with tears in his eyes and in 
his voice, he said: 

' ' My dear son, I have given you many things I have 
given you Naples, Flanders, the two Indias : for your sake, 
indeed, I have despoiled myself of all I possessed. But 
keep this well in your mind: neither Naples and its 


palaces, nor the Low Countries and their commerce, nor 
the two Indias and their mines of gold, silver, and precious 
stones are worth the treasure I give you in bequeathing to 
you your cousin Emmanuel Philibert a man equally prompt 
to plan and execute, a good statesman, and a great captain. 
I recommend you to treat him, therefore, not as a subject, 
but as a brother ; and even then he will be scarcely treated 
by you according to his merits. ' ' 

Emmanuel Philibert tried to kiss the knees of his uncle, 
but the latter held him in his arms; then, gently pushing 
him from his arms into those of Don Philip 

"Go," he said; "go! it is a shame for men to groan and 
weep thus on account of a short separation in this world ! 
Let us manage, by good deeds and the virtues of a Christian 
life, to make sure of our union in a happier world; that is 
the essential point!" 

And, making a sign with his hand to the two young men 
to depart, he remained with his back turned until they were 
outside of the apartment, and then went to take leave of his 

Don Philip and Emmanuel Philibert mounted their 
horses and started at once for Brussels. 

As to the ex- emperor, he embarked the next day, 10th 
of September, 1556, on a vessel "truly royal in size and 
adornment, ' ' says Gregorio Leti, historian of Charles V. ; 
but it was hardly outside the harbor when it was saluted 
by an English ship. This ship carried the Earl of Arundel, 
sent to her father-in-law by Queen Mary, to beg him not to 
pass so near the coasts of Great Britain without paying her 
a visit. 

But at this invitation Charles merely shrugged his 
shoulders, and, in a tone not wholly free from bitterness, 
he said 

" Eh ! what pleasure could so great a queen take in see- 
ing herself the daughter-in-law of a private gentlemen ?" 

In spite of this reply, the Earl of Arundel persisted, 
with so many courteous supplications and respectful prayers 


that Charles Y. could no longer defend himself from such 
importunity, and at last said*- 

' ' My lord, everything will depend on the winds. ' ' 

The two queens had embarked with their brother. Sixty 
ships escorted the imperial vessel ; and, seeing that, although 
the winds were far from being unfavorable, the Emperor 
passed Yarmouth, London, and Portsmouth without stop- 
ping, the Earl of Arundel insisted no further. He placed 
himself respectfully in the suite of the imperial vessel, and 
followed it into Loredo, a port of Biscay, where Charles was 
received by the Grand Constable of Castile. 

But he had no sooner touched that land of Spain, over 
which he had so gloriously reigned, than he knelt down, 
before listening to a word of the discourse the grand con- 
stable had prepared; and, kissing the soil of that realm 
which had become now a kind of second birthplace, he said: 

"I salute thee with all reverence, oh common mother! 
and, as I came forth from the womb of my mother to re- 
ceive so many treasures, I wish now also to return naked 
into thy bosom, my very dear mother! And if it was then 
a duty of nature, it is to-day an effect of grace upon my 

He had not finished this prayer, when the wind began 
to swell, and such a violent tempest arose that all the fleet 
which had accompanied him perished in the harbor, not ex- 
cepting even the imperial vessel, which was laden with treas- 
ure and with the magnificent gifts brought by the Emperor 
from Belgium and Germany as gifts to the churches of Spain 
which gave occasion to a saying by one of the personages 
of the suite of Charles Y. that the vessel, foreseeing that 
never again would such glory ennoble it, had sunk into the 
sea in order to show at once its respect, regret, and sorrow. 

It was just as well, perhaps, that inanimate things should 
give such proofs of respect, regret, and sorrow to Charles 
Y., for men were very cold in presence of his changed for- 
tunes. At Burgos, for example, the Emperor crossed the 
city without any deputation meeting him, and without 


the citizens even giving themselves the trouble to run to 
their doors to look at him passing. Which seeing, the Em- 
peror shook his head, murmuring 

"In truth, the inhabitants of Burgos must have been 
listening to me when I said at Loredo that I was returning 
naked into Spain!" 

The same day, however, a noble lord named Don Bar- 
tolomeo Miranda having come to visit him, and having said 
to him 

"It is to-day exactly a year, sire, since your Imperial 
Majesty abandoned the world to devote yourself entirely to 
the service of God ' ' 

"Yes," said Charles; "and it is to-day exactly a year 
since I have repented of it!" 

Charles Y. recalled the sad and solitary evening of his 
abdication when the coals fell upon the carpet, and he had 
no one to help in regulating the fire but Admiral Coligny. 

From Burgos the Emperor travelled to Yalladolid, which 
was then the capital of Spain. Half an hour from the city, 
he met a procession. It consisted of nobles and lords, led 
by his grandson Don Carlos, then eleven years old. 

The child managed his steed admirably, and rode on the 
left of the Emperor's litter. It was the first time he saw his 
grandfather, and the latter regarded him with an earnestness 
that would have disconcerted any one but the young prince. 
Don Carlos did not even lower his eyes, contenting himself 
with taking off his cap respectfully every time the Em- 
peror's eyes were fixed upon him. He replaced it on his 
head when Charles turned away his eyes. 

As a consequence, the Emperor no sooner entered his 
apartments than he sent for him, in order to have a nearer 
view of him, and to converse with him. 

The boy presented himself, respectful in manner, but 
without any embarrassment. 

"And so it was you, my grandson, who came to meet 
me," said Charles. 

"It was my duty," replied the boy, "as I am your sub- 


ject in a twofold manner; for you are my grandfather and 
my emperor. ' ' 

"Ah, indeed!" exclaimed Charles, astonished at finding 
so much coolness in a child of such tender years. 

"Besides, even if it was not my duty to meet your Im- 
perial Majesty, I should have done so through curiosity." 

"And why so?" 

' l Because I have often heard that you were an illustrious 
emperor, and that you have done great things. ' ' 

"Ah, truly!" said Charles Y., who was amused by the 
strange disposition of the child; "and would you like me 
to relate those great things to you ?" 

"It would be a keen pleasure and an immense honor for 
me, ' ' replied the young prince. 

"Well, sit down there." 

"With the permission of your Majesty, I shall listen 
standing, ' ' said the child. 

Then Charles V. related all his wars with Frangois I., 
the Turks and the Protestants. 

Don Carlos listened with the greatest attention, and when 
his grandfather had finished, showing that the recital was no 
novelty for him, he exclaimed 

' ' Oh, yes, that is how it all happened. ' ' 

"But," returned the Emperor, "you do not, my fair 
grandson, tell me what you think of my adventures, or 
whether you believe I have conducted myself as a brave 
man. ' ' 

"Oh!" said the young prince, "I am well enough satis- 
fied with what you have done ; there is one thing, though, 
I cannot pardon you." 

"Upon my word!" said the astonished Emperor; "and, 
pray, what is it ? " 

"Your flight from Innspruck one night, half naked, 
before Duke Maurice." 

' ' But I could not help it, I swear to you, ' ' answered the 
Emperor, laughing. "He surprised me, and I had nothing 
to protect me but the house I was living in. ' ' 


' ' Still, I would not have fled, ' ' said Don Carlos. 

"What! you would not have fled?" 


"But it was necessary to fly, since I had no means of 
resistance. ' ' 

' ' I would not have fled, ' ' repeated the young prince. 

4 ' Should I have allowed myself to be taken, then ? That 
would have been a great imprudence, for which I should 
have been blamed still more. ' ' 

"No matter! I would not have fled," repeated the child 
for the third time. 

"Tell me, then, what- you would have done on such an 
occasion; and, to help you to an answer, what would you 
do at the present moment if I set thirty pages, say, at your 

"I would not fly," the child contented himself with 

The Emperor frowned, and, summoning the governor of 
the young prince 

"Sir," he said, "take my grandson with you: I congrat- 
ulate you on the education you are giving him ; if he con- 
tinues, he will be the greatest warrior of our family ! ' ' 

The same evening, he said to Queen Eleonore, his sister, 
whom he was leaving at Yalladolid: 

"I fear, sister, Don Philip is not fortunate in his son 
Don Carlos; his manners and disposition at such an early 
age do not please me. I cannot imagine what he is likely 
to be when he is twenty-five. Study the words and actions 
of this child, then, and when you write to me, tell me sin- 
cerely what you think on the subject ' ' 

Two days afterward Charles entered Palencia, and on the 
ensuing day Queen Eleonore wrote: 

"My brother, if the manners of Don Carlos have dis- 
pleased you after seeing him only on one day, they have 
much more displeased me after seeing him on three. ' ' 

This little man, who would not have fled from Inns- 
pruck, was the same Don Carlos who was put to death by 


his father, Philip II., twelve years later, under the pretext 
that he conspired with the rebels in the Low Countries. 

At Yalladolid the Emperor had dismissed his entire 
court, with the exception of twelve domestics and twelve 
horses, reserving for his own use only a few rare and pre- 
cious articles of furniture, and distributing all the rest 
among the gentlemen who had accompanied him; then 
he had bade farewell to the two queens, and set out for 

Palencia was eighteen miles from the monastery of Saint- 
Just, belonging to the order of Hieronimites, which the Em- 
peror had selected for his retreat, and where he had sent, 
during the preceding year, an architect to build six rooms 
for him on the ground floor, four exactly like the cells of 
the monks, and two a little bigger. The artist was also to 
lay out a garden, on a plan designed by Charles himself. 

This garden was the charming feature of the imperial 
retreat; it was watered on two sides by a little rivulet, 
limpid and murmuring, and planted with orange, lemon 
and cedar trees, whose branches shaded and perfumed the 
windows of the illustrious recluse. 

In 1542 he had visited this same monastery of Saint- Just, 
and, on leaving, said 

' 4 A real place of retreat for a second Diocletian. ' ' 

The Emperor took possession of his apartments in the 
monastery of Saint- Just on the 24th of February, 1557. It 
was the anniversary of his birthj and that day had always 
been a fortunate day for him. 

"I wish," he said, on crossing the threshold, "to be born 
again for heaven on the same day on which I was born for 

Out of the twelve horses he had kept, he sent away 
eleven; he used the one he retained for riding occasionally 
in the delicious valley of Serandilla, distant only a mile, and 
which is called the Paradise of Estremadura. 

Starting from that moment, he kept up little communica- 
tion with the world, receiving only rare visits from his old 


courtiers, and, once or twice a year, letters from King Philip, 
the Emperor Ferdinand, and the two queens, his sisters; his 
only distraction was the rides we have mentioned, the din- 
ners he gave now and then to the gentlemen who visited 
him and whom he retained until evening, saying, "My 
friends, remain with me and live the religious life," and 
the pleasure he took in attending to the little birds of 
every species he kept in cages. 

This life lasted a year; but, at the end of the year, it 
seemed still too worldly for the august solitary, and on the 
anniversary of his birth, the day, also, it will be remem- 
bered, of his entrance into the monastery, he said to the 
Archbishop of Toledo, who had come to pay him a visit 
of ceremony: 

"My lord, I have lived fifty- seven years for the world, 
and a year for my intimate friends and servants in this 
lonely spot; now I wish to give to the Lord the few 
months I have still to live. ' ' And, in consequence, while 
thanking the prelate for his visit, he begged him not to take 
the trouble of coming again, except he called him for his 
soul's sake. 

In fact, from the 25th of February, 1558, the Emperor 
lived almost as austerely. as the monks, eating with them, 
inflicting the discipline on himself, going regularly to the 
services, and not allowing himself any other distraction than 
that of having Masses said for the innumerable quantity of 
soldiers, sailors, officers and captains who had died in his 
service in the different battles waged by himself or by 
his orders in the four quarters of the globe. 

He had special Masses said in the name of the generals, 
councillors, ambassadors and ministers he had a perfectly 
exact register of the anniversary of their deaths at private 
altars erected for the purpose ; so that it might be said that, 
just as he had formerly placed his glory in reigning over the 
living, he now placed it in reigning over the dead. 

At last, growing tired, toward the beginning of the July 
of this same year, 1558, of assisting at the funerals of others, 


Charles Y. resolved to assist at his own. However, it took 
some time to accustom him to this rather odd idea; he was 
afraid he would be taxed with pride and singularity in giv- 
ing way to this desire ; but at last it became irresistible, and 
he disclosed his intention to a monk of the same monastery, 
named Father John Regola. 

It was with trembling that Charles ventured on this con- 
fidence, fearing the monk might throw some obstacle in the 
way of the execution of his plan ; but the monk, on the con- 
trary, to the great joy of the Emperor, answered that, al- 
though it would be an extraordinary and unprecedented 
act, he saw no harm in it, and considered it even pious 
and exemplary. 

Nevertheless, this approval by a simple monk did not 
seem to the Emperor sufficient in such a grave circum- 
stance; then Father Eegola offered to take the opinion of 
the Archbishop of Toledo. 

Charles thought the advice good, and the monk, being 
appointed ambassador to the archbishop, set out on a mule, 
and with an escort, to get the desired permission. 

Never in the days of Charles V.'s power had the re- 
turn of a messenger, however important the message, been 
awaited with such impatience as was this one. 

At last, at the end of a fortnight, the monk reappeared; 
the reply was favorable; the archbishop regarded the desire 
of the Emperor as very holy and very Christian. 

On the next day, which was a genuine festival, prepara- 
tions were made to render the funeral ceremony worthy of 
the great Emperor who was about to be buried alive. 

The first thing undertaken was the construction of a 
inagnificent mausoleum in the centre of the church; Father 
Vargas, who was an engineer and sculptor, made a design 
that was satisfactory to the Emperor, except in some details 
which he retouched. 

The design being approved, master joiners and painters 
were summoned from Palencia, who for five weeks em- 
ployed twenty men each day in building this mausoleum. 


At the end of the five weeks, thanks to the activity inspired 
by the presence of the Emperor, the mausoleum was fin- 
ished. It was forty feet long, thirty broad and fifty high; 
around it were galleries mounted by several staircases; 
there might be seen a series of pictures representing the 
most illustrious emperors of the House of Austria, and 
the principal battles of Charles Y. himself. In fine, on 
the top was laid the bier, without a lid, having on its 
left Fame, and on its right Immortality. 

Everything being completed, the morning of the 24th 
of August was fixed for this fictitious funeral. 

At five o'clock, just an hour and a half after sunrise, 
four hundred immense tapers painted black were placed, 
lighted, on the sarcophagus, around which the domestics 
of the Emperor were arranged, dressed in mourning, bare- 
headed, each with a torch in his hand. At seven, Charles 
entered, clad in a long mourning robe, having on his right 
and left a monk garbed like himself. He sat down on a 
seat prepared for him in front of the altar, having also 
a torch in his hand. There, without a movement, his torch 
resting on the ground, he listened, living, to all the chants 
sung for the departed, from the Requiem to the Requiescat, 
while six monks of different orders said six Low Masses 
at the side altars of the church. 

Then, at a given moment, he went, escorted by two 
monks, and bowed before the high altar. Kneeling at 
the feet of the prior, he said: 

"I ask and supplicate Thee, O arbiter and sovereign of 
our life and of our death, that, just as the priest takes from 
my hands with his this torch which I offer him in all humil- 
ity, Thou mayest deign to receive* my soul, which I com- 
mend to Thy divine clemency, and take it, when it is Thy 
will, into the bosom of Thy infinite goodness and mercy!" 

Then the prior placed the taper in a silver chandelier 
of great size, which the counterfeit departed had presented 
to the monastery for this grand occasion. 

After this Charles rose, and, always accompanied by the 


two monks, who followed him as his shadow, he went and 
took his seat. 

The Mass over, the Emperor judged that there remained 
something for him to do, and that they had forgotten the 
most important part of the ceremony: he then had a flag- 
stone in the choir raised, and ordered a black velvet cover- 
ing to be spread over the bottom of the ditch which had 
been excavated in accordance with his wishes, and a pillow 
to be also laid. Then, assisted by two monks, he descended 
into the ditch, stretched himself on his back, with his hands 
crossed over his breast and his eyes closed, counterfeiting 
death as well as he could. 

Immediately the officiating priest intoned the "De Pro- 
fundis Clamavi, ' ' and while the choir was chanting it, all 
those monks clad in black, all those gentlemen and servants 
in mourning, with torches in their hands, shedding tears, 
denied around the deceased, each in turn sprinkling holy 
water and wishing eternal rest to his soul. 

The number carrying holy water was so large that the 
ceremony lasted more than two hours: consequently, the 
Emperor was quite deluged with the holy water, which 
pierced through his black robe; this, joined to the cold 
and biting wind which blew on him up from the mortuary 
cellars of the abbey through the crevices in the stone, had 
such an effect on the Emperor that he was shivering fright- 
fully when, after all had left the church except himself and 
his two monks, he regained his cell. So that, feeling him- 
self quaking all over 

"I do not know, my good Fathers," he said, "if it was 
worth while, in truth, for me to get up again." 

In fact, after entering his cell, Charles Y. had to take 
to his bed, and, once in bed, he never did get up again; so 
that in less than a month* after the counterfeit ceremony, 
the real ceremony was celebrated, and all that had been 
prepared for the fictitious death served for the true one. 

It was on the 21st of September, 1558, that the Emperor 
Charles V. rendered the last sigh in the arms of the Arch- 


bishop of Toledo, who was fortunately at Palencia, and 
whom the dying man sent for, for the last time, according 
to the promise he had made, six months before, to summon 
him at the hour of death. 

He had lived fifty -seven years, seven months, and twenty- 
one days; he had reigned forty-four years, governed the em- 
pire thirty-eight, and as he had been born on the festival 
of one apostle, Saint- Mathias, so he died on the festival of 
another apostle, Saint- Matthew; namely, on the 21st of 

Father Strada relates, in his "History of Flanders," that 
on the very night of the death of Charles V. , a lily flowered 
in the garden of the monastery of Saint- Just; of which fact 
the monks having been informed, this lily was exposed on 
the high altar as an evident proof of the whiteness of the 
soul of Charles Y. 

History is a beautiful thing! And that is the reason 
why, not considering ourselves worthy to be a historian, 
we have become a romancer. 




A LITTLE more than a year after the abdication of 
Charles V. at Brussels, about the period when the 
ex- emperor was isolating himself from the world in 
the monastery of Saint- Just, at the moment when, from the 
heights of Saint- Grermain, the harvests of the plain could 
be seen yellowing in the distance, and just as the last days 
of July were rolling their clouds of flame in a sky of azure, 
a brilliant cavalcade was issuing forth from the old chateau 
and advancing into the park, whose fine tall trees were be- 
ginning to take on those warm hues which the painter loves. 

A brilliant cavalcade, if ever there was one! for it was 
composed of King Henri II. , his sister, Madame Marguerite 
of France, his mistress, the beautiful Duchesse de Valen- 
tinois, his daughter, Elisabeth de Yalois, the young Queen 
of Scotland, Mary Stuart, and the principal lords and ladies 
who, at this time, made the ornament and glory of the 
House of Valois a house that succeeded to the throne 
in the person of Fra^ois L, who died, as we have said, on 
the 31st of May, 1547. 

Moreover, over one of the highest balconies of the 
chateau leaned Queen Catherine de Medicis, resting on an 
iron railing wrought as delicately as lacework, with the two 
young princes who were to be afterward Charles IX. and 
Henri III., but now, respectively, seven and six years old; 
and little Marguerite, five years of age, and destined to 

(9) Vol. 20 


be Queen of Navarre. All three, as we may see, were 
too young to accompany their father to the hunt which 
was in preparation. 

As for Queen Catherine, she had made a slight indispo- 
sition the pretext for not forming one of the hunting party; 
and as Queen Catherine was one of those women who never 
do anything without a reason, we may be very sure she had, 
if not a real indisposition, at least a reason for being in- 

All the personages we have named being required to 
take a very active part in the story we have undertaken 
to relate, the reader will permit us, before taking up the 
broken thread of events, to place before his eyes a physical 
and moral picture of these personages. 

Let us begin with Henri II., who was riding in advance, 
having on his right Madame Marguerite, his sister, and on 
his left the Duchesse de Yalentinois. 

He was at this time a handsome, haughty chevalier of 
thirty-nine years, with black eyebrows, black eyes, black 
beard, a swarthy complexion, aquiline nose, and fine white 
teeth; not so tall, not so muscular as his father, but with 
a form admirably proportioned, which was above the middle 
height; fond of war to that degree that, when he had not 
one in his own states or in those of his neighbors, he wished 
to have the semblance of one in his court and in the midst 
of his pleasures. 

And so, even in times of peace, King Henri II. having 
barely that tincture of letters necessary for the dispensation 
of honorable rewards to poets, his opinions on whom were 
ready made, being all received from his sister Marguerite, 
his mistress, the fair Diane, or his charming little ward, 
Mary Stuart so, even in times of peace, we repeat, King 
Henri II. was the least idle man in his realm. Here is how 
he divided his days: 

His mornings and evenings that is to say, the hours 
after rising and before retiring were devoted to business; 
two hours in the morning were usually sufficient for the pur- 


pose. Then lie heard Mass very piously ; for he was a good 
Catholic, as he proved when he declared he would like 
to see Jean Dubourg, counsellor to the Parliament, burned 
with his own eyes a pleasure he could not have, however, 
as he died six months before the poor Huguenot was sent to 
the stake. He dined at noon, after which he paid a visit, 
accompanied by the lords and ladies of his court, to Queen 
Catherine, with whom he found, as Brantome tells us, a 
crowd of human goddesses, one lovelier than the other. 
Then, while he entertained the queen, or madame his 
sister, or the little queen dauphiness, Mary Stuart, or 
his eldest daughters, each lord and geAtleman did the 
same as the king, chatting with the lady who pleased him 
best. This lasted nearly two hours ; then the king passed to 
his exercises. During summer these exercises were tennis. 

Henri II. was passionately fond of tennis; not that he 
was a very skilful player, but he played second or tierce; 
that is to say, he always selected, in harmony with his ad- 
venturous character, the most dangerous or most difficult 
posts; so he was the best second and the best tierce in his 
kingdom, to use the language of the period. Moreover, it 
was he who always defrayed the expenses of the game, 
whether he won or lost: if he won, he abandoned the win- 
nings to his partners ; if the latter lost, he paid for them. 

The stakes were "usually from five to six hundred 
crowns, and not, as in the case of the kings his successors, 
four thousand, six thousand, ten thousand crowns. ''But," 
says Brantome, "the payments were made at once, while in 
our day you are obliged to submit to any number of honor- 
able compositions." 

The other exercises of the king held a secondary place 
in his esteem, but in them he was very adroit also. 

If it was winter, and there was a hard frost, the court set 
out for Fontainebleau, and there was sliding either on the 
avenues of the park or on the ponds. When the snow had 
been excessive, bastions were erected, and there was a battle 
of snowballs; finally, if it rained instead of snowing, they 


scattered among the halls on the ground- floors, and prac- 
ticed fencing. 

M. de Boucard had been the victim of this latter exer- 
cise. The king, when dauphin, happened, while fencing 
with him, to destroy one of his eyes an accident for which 
he politely begged his pardon, says the author from whom we 
borrow these details. 

The ladies of the court were present at all these exer- 
cises, summer and winter, the opinion of the king being 
that their presence spoiled nothing, and gave a grace to 
many things. 

In the evening, after supper, they returned to the queen; 
and when there was no ball an amusement, for that matter, 
rare enough at the time two hours were spent in conver- 
sation. The poets and men of letters were introduced; 
namely, MM. Eonsard, Dorat, and Muret as clever Limou- 
sins as ever munched a turnip, says Brantome and MM. 
Danesius and Amyot, the tutors of Prince Fra^ois and 
Prince Charles, respectively; and then there was between 
these illustrious jousters assaults of science and poesy which 
much delighted the ladies. 

One thing when by some chance it was thought of 
cast a veil of mourning over this noble court; it was an 
unfortunate prediction made on the day of King Henri's 
accession to the throne. 

A soothsayer, summoned to the chateau to draw his 
nativity, had announced, in presence of the Connetable 
Montmorency, that the king would die in single combat. 
Thereupon, the latter, quite joyous because such a death 
was promised him, turned to the constable, saying 

"Do you hear, gossip, what this man promises me ?" 

The constable, believing the king frightened at the pre- 
diction, answered with his customary brutality : 

"What, sire! would you believe these rascals, who are 
nothing but liars and babblers ? Let me fling the predic- 
tion in the fire, and him along with it, to teach such knaves 
not to humbug us with such trickery!" 


But the king answered, "By no means, gossip; it some- 
times happens, on the contrary, that these people tell the 
truth. And, besides, the prediction is not a bad one, in 
my opinion. I would rather die that death than any other, 
provided, of course, that I fall beneath the stroke of a brave 
and valiant gentleman, and that my glory remain intact. ' ' 

And, instead of flinging the prediction and the astrol- 
oger into the fire, he munificently rewarded the latter, and 
gave the prediction into the keeping of M. de I'Aubespine, 
one of his good counsellors, whom he specially employed 
in diplomatic affairs. 

This prediction was again discussed for a moment when 
M. de Chatillon returned from Brussels; for it will be re- 
membered that Charles V. , in the little house in the park, 
had requested the admiral to warn his fair cousin Henri 
that his captain of the Scotch Guard, Gabriel de Lorges, 
Comte de Montgomery, had between the eyes a fatal sign 
presaging the death of one of the princes of the fleur-de-lis. 

But, reflecting on the matter, King Henri II. saw the 
little probability there was of a duel between him and his 
captain of the Guards, and, after classing the first prophecy 
among things possible and deserving attention, he classed 
the second among things impossible deserving no attention 
at all ; so that, instead of separating from Gabriel de Lorges, 
as would perhaps have done a prince less timid, he, on the 
contrary, redoubled his favor and familiarity toward him. 

We have said that Madame Marguerite of France, daugh- 
ter of Frangois I., was riding on the king's right. 

Let us turn our attention, for a moment, to this princess, 
one of the most accomplished of the age, and more closely 
connected with our subject than any other. 

The Princess Marguerite of France was born on the 
5th of June, 1523, in that same chateau of Saint- Germain 
through whose door we have just passed; hence it follows 
that, at the moment we make her pass under the eyes of 
the reader, she was thirty -three years and nine months 


How was it that so great and fair a princess remained so 
long without a spouse? For this there were two reasons: 
the first she had told aloud and before all; the second she 
did dare, perhaps, to whisper to herself. 

When she was quite a young girl, Frangois I. desired to 
marry her to M. de Yendome, first prince of the blood; but 
she, proud even to disdain, replied that she would never 
marry a man who must some day be the subject of the king 
her brother. 

This was the reason she gave aloud for remaining single, 
and not falling from her rank as a princess of France. 

Let us now look at the reason she whispered to herself, 
and which was probably the true cause of her refusal. 

At the time of the interview at Nice between Pope Paul 
III. and FranQois L, the Queen of Navarre, by order of the 
king, visited the late Duke of Savoy in the castle of Nice, 
accompanied by her niece, Madame Marguerite. Now, the 
old duke thought the young princess charming, and spoke 
of a marriage between her and Emmanuel Philibert. The 
two children saw each other; but Emmanuel, entirely de- 
voted to the exercises of his age, to his affection for Leona, 
and his friendship for Scianca-Ferro, hardly noticed the 
young princess. It was not the same with her; the image 
of the young prince had made a strong impression upon her 
heart, and when negotiations were broken off, and war was 
resumed between the King of France and the Duke of 
Savoy, she suffered from real despair a childish despair 
to which no one paid any attention, and which, for a long 
time, fed with her tears, had changed to a gentle melan- 
choly, encouraged by that vague hope which never deserts 
tender and believing hearts. 

Twenty years had vanished since that epoch; and now, 
under one pretext or another, Marguerite refused the hand 
of every suitor proposed to her. 

While waiting for the chances of fate or the decrees of 
Providence to second her secret wishes, she had grown, had 
advanced in years, and was now a charming princess, full 


of grace, pleasantness, and tender compassion, with beau- 
tiful blond hair, the color of golden ears of corn, chestnut 
eyes, the nose a little pronounced, thick lips, and a com- 
plexion of a lovely white tinged with rose. 

We have said that on the other side of the king rode 
Diane de Poitiers, Comtesse de Breze, daughter of that 
Sieur de Saint- Vallier who, as an accomplice of the Con- 
netable de Bourbon, had been condemned to be beheaded 
on the Greve, and who, when kneeling under the sword of 
the executioner, had been pardoned if the thing can be 
called a pardon and had his sentence commuted to per- 
petual imprisonment 4l within four walls, the floor and roof 
both built of stone, and with one little window only, through 
which he was to receive whatever he ate and drank. ' ' 

Everything connected with Diane was mystery and mar- 
vel. She was born in 1499, and had, at the period we are 
describing, reached the age of fifty-eight years; yet, by her 
apparent youth and real beauty, she threw the fairest and 
youngest princesses of the court into the shade; so that 
the king loved her before all and above all. 

Some of the mysterious and marvellous things told of 
the fair Diane, who had been created Duchesse de Yalen- 
tinois by Henri II. in 1548, were the following: 

In the first place, she was most undoubtedly descended 
from the fairy Melusine, and the king's love and her won- 
derfully preserved beauty were both results of this descent. 
Diane de Poitiers inherited from her ancestress, the great 
sorceress, the double secret, a secret rare and magical, of 
being always beautiful and always beloved. 

Diane, it was stated, owed this eternal beauty to soups 
composed of potable gold. We know what an important 
ingredient was potable gold in the chemical preparations 
of the Middle Ages. 

This love without end was due to a magical ring the 
king had received from her, and which had the virtue of 
binding his love to her as long as he wore it. 

The last report attained particular credit, for Madame 


de Nemours used to relate, to all who cared to listen, the 
anecdote we are about to relate in our turn. 

The king having fallen sick, Queen Catherine de Me*dicis 
said to Madame de Nemours: 

1 ' My dear duchess, the king has a great affection for you. 
Go to his chamber, sit near the bed, and, while talking with 
him, try to take from the third finger of the left hand the 
ring he wears on it; it is a talisman given him by Madame 
de Valentinois to make him love her." 

Now, nobody in the court felt any very deep affection 
for Madame de Yalentinois, not that she was ill-natured, 
but the young did not like her because she was so obstinate 
in continuing young, and the old women detested her be- 
cause she would not become old. Madame de Nemours 
willingly took charge of the commission ; and, having made 
her way into the king's chamber, and sat down near the 
bed, she succeeded in sportively drawing the ring from 
Henri's finger, he himself being quite ignorant of its virtue. 
But the ring was scarcely off the sick man's finger when 
he begged Madame de Nemours to whistle for his valet de 
chambre. We know that, up to the time of Madame 
de Maintenon, who invented bells, the gold or silver 
whistle was used by kings, princes, and great lords for 
summoning their people. The sick man then had begged 
Madame de Nemours to whistle for his valet de chambre, 
who, having entered immediately, received the king's order 
to close his doors to all comers. 

''Even to Madame de Yalentinois?" asked the aston- 
ished valet. 

"To Madame de Yalentinois as to others," answered the 
king, sharply; "the order admits no exception. " 

A quarter of an hour afterward Madame de Yalentinois 
presented herself at the king's door, and was refused ad- 

She returned at the end of an hour: same refusal. 
Finally, at the end of two hours, in spite of a third refusal, 
she forced the door, entered, marched straight up to the 


king, took his hand, perceived that the ring was missing, 
made him confess what had passed, and insisted on Henri's 
getting the ring back from Madame de Nemours. The 
king's order to surrender the precious jewel was so per- 
emptory that Madame de Nemours, who had not yet de- 
livered it to Catherine de Medicis, grew frightened at the 
consequences, and sent it back. The ring once again on 
the king's finger, the fairy resumed all her power, which, 
indeed, since that day had gone on increasing. 

In spite of the grave authorities who relate the history 
and note well that for the potable gold we have no less 
a witness than Brantome, while to the truth of the affair 
of the ring, we have the solemn affirmations of De Thou 
and Pasquier we are tempted to believe that the beauty 
of Diane de Poitiers was unconnected with the miraculous, 
a beauty which was to have its counterpart a hundred years 
later in the case of Ninon de Lenclos ; and we are disposed 
to accept, as the only and true magic used by her, that con- 
tained in the receipt she gave to any one for the asking; 
namely, a bath of spring water in all weathers, even the 
coldest. Besides, every morning she rose with the lark, 
rode for two hours, and on her return went to bed again, 
where she stayed till noon, reading, or chatting with her 

But this has not been all: everything in connection with 
the fair Diane has been a subject of controversy, and the 
gravest historians would seem, in her regard, to have for- 
gotten this first condition of history, which is to always 
have the proof standing behind the accusation. 

Mezeray relates and we are not sorry to catch Me*zeray 
in a blunder that Frangois I. granted the pardon of Jean 
de Poitiers, father of Diane, only after he had deprived the 
daughter of the most valuable thing she possessed. Now this 
took place in 1523; Diane, born in 1499, was twenty-four 
at the time, and had been married to Louis de Breze* for ten 
years. We do not say that Frangois I., a monarch chary 
in exacting his dues, did not impose certain conditions on 


the fair Diane ; but it was not, as Mezeray says, on a young 
girl of fourteen that he imposed these conditions, and unless 
we want to caluminate poor M. de Bre'ze', to whom his 
widow raised that magnificent monument still admired in 
Rouen, we cannot imagine he allowed the king to deprive 
a woman of twenty -four of the most valuable thing she 
possessed at fourteen. 

All we have written has, for that matter, only one ob- 
ject: to prove to our fair readers that the history written 
by romancers is far superior to the history written by his- 
torians; in the first place, because it is truer, and in the 
second, because it is more amusing. 

To make a long story short, Diane, though at this period 
twenty-six years a widow and twenty -one years King Henri's 
mistress, had, in spite of the fact that she was fully fifty- 
eight, the smoothest and loveliest complexion that could 
be seen, curly hair of the most bewitching black, a form 
of admirable symmetry, and a faultless neck and throat. 

This was the opinion of old Conne'table Montmorency, 
who, notwithstanding his sixty-four years, claimed to enjoy 
quite peculiar privileges in the case of the beautiful duchess 
privileges which would have rendered the king very jeal- 
ous, if it were not an admitted fact that it is always the 
people interested in being the first to know a thing who 
know it last, and sometimes never know it at all. 

We ask pardon for this long historico- critical digression; 
but if any woman in that graceful, lettered and gallant court 
deserved the trouble of it, surely it was she who made her 
royal lover wear her colors as a widow black and white 
and adopt the crescent for an escutcheon inspired by her 
fine pagan name of Diane, with these words for a motto: 
Donee totum impleat orbem ! 

We have said that behind King Henri II., having on 
his right Madame Marguerite of France, and on his left the 
Duchesse de Valentinois, came the Dauphin Frangois, hav- 
ing on his right his sister Elisabeth, and on his left his 
betrothed, Mary Stuart. 


The dauphin was fourteen, Elisabeth thirteen, Mary 
Stuart thirteen forty years in all. 

The dauphin was a weak and sickly child, with pale 
complexion and chestnut hair. His eyes were dull and 
expressionless, except when they looked upon Mary Stu- 
art; for then they became animated, and had an expres- 
sion of desire which turned the child into a young man. 
Moreover, he was little inclined toward the violent exer- 
cises in which his father delighted, and seemed the prey 
of an incessant languor, the cause of which was vainly 
sought for by his physicians. They would have found it, 
perhaps, according to the pamphlets of the time, in the 
chapter of Suetonius 's "Twelve Caesars," where he relates 
the rides of Nero in a litter with his mother, Agrippina. 
Still, let us hasten to say it, Catherine cle Medicis, both as 
a Catholic and a foreigner, was hated by one party, and 
we should not believe, without careful scrutiny, everything 
related in the pasquinades, ribald songs, and satires of the 
times, almost all products of the Calvinistic press. The pre- 
mature deaths of the young princes, Fra^ois and Charles, 
to whom their mother preferred Henri, contributed not a 
little to give credit to all these malicious rumors which 
have traversed the ages, and have come down to us, wearing 
an aspect of almost historic authenticity. 

The Princess Elisabeth, although a year younger than 
the dauphin, was much more of a young woman than he 
was of a young man. Her birth had been at once a private 
joy and a public happiness; for, at the very moment she 
appeared in the world, peace was signed between Francois 
I. and Henry VIII. Thus, she who by her marriage was to 
bring about peace with Spain, by her birth brought about 
peace with England. Besides, her father, Henri II., held 
her in such esteem for her beauty and character that, hav- 
ing married her younger sister, Madame Claude, to the Due 
de Lorraine, he replied to some one who was remonstrating 
with him on the wrong this marriage did the elder: "My 
daughter Elisabeth is not one of those who are satisfied 


with a duchy for dowry; she needs a kingdom, and not 
one of the minor kingdoms either, but one of the grandest 
and noblest, so grand and noble is she herself in everything !" 

She won the kingdom promised her, and with it misfor- 
tune and death. 

Alas! a better fate was not awaiting that lovely Mary 
who rode on the left of the dauphin, her betrothed ! 

There are misfortunes which have such a reverberation 
that they have awakened an echo through the whole world, 
and which, having attracted to their objects the gaze of 
their contemporaries, still attract to them the eyes of pos- 
terity whenever the utterance of some name recalls them. 

Such are the misfortunes misfortunes somewhat de- 
served, perhaps of the fair Mary. They have so far sur- 
passed the ordinary measure that the faults, even crimes, 
of the guilty queen have disappeared in presence of the 
exaggeration of the chastisement. 

But, all the same, the little Queen of Scotland followed 
joyously her path in a life saddened at its beginning by the 
death of her father, the chivalrous James V. ; her mother 
wore for her that Scottish crown of thorns, which, accord- 
ing to the words of her father, "came with a lass and would 
go with a lass!" On the 20th of August, 1548, she arrived 
at Morlaix, and for the first time touched the soil of France, 
where her happiest days were passed. She brought with her 
that garland of Scotch roses called the Four Marys, who 
were of the same age, born in the same year and month as 
herself, and who were named Mary Fleming, Mary Seaton, 
Mary Livingstone and Mary Beaton. She was at this time 
an adorable child, and, as she grew, became an adorable 
young girl. Her uncles, the Guises, who believed they saw 
in her the realization of all their ambitious projects, and 
who, not content with extending their sway over France, 
dreamed of extending it by her means over Scotland, per- 
haps over England, made her the object of their ardent 
worship. Thus the Cardinal de Lorraine wrote to his sis- 
ter, Marie de Guise: 


' ' Your daughter has increased, and is every day increas- 
ing in goodness, beauty, and virtue; the king spends his 
time conversing with her, and she addresses him in words 
as good and wise as would a woman of twenty-five years 
of age." 

But it was now the bud of this impassioned rose that was 
opening to love and pleasure. Not knowing how to do any- 
thing which did not please her, she did, on the contrary, 
with ardor, everything that pleased her: did she dance, it 
was until she fell exhausted; did she ride, it was at a gal- 
lop, and until the best steed was worn out; did she attend 
a concert, the music sent through her electric thrills. 

Sparkling with precious stones, flattered, caressed, and 
adored, she was, at the age of thirteen, one of the marvels 
of that court of Valois, so full of marvels. Catherine de 
Medicis, who was not specially fond of her son, said, "Our 
little Scottish queen has only to smile to turn all French 
heads. ' ' 

Ronsard said: 

Midst the lilies of Spring her fair body was born, 
Of whose whiteness a copy the lily alone is, 
And the bloom on her red cheeks laughed to scorn 
The roses tinged with the blood of Adonis. 
The darts in her eyes were Love's own darts, 
And the heavenly Graces, with zeal and fervor, 
Imparted to her all that heaven imparts 
And left their abodes from a craving to serve her. 

And of all these charming flatteries, the royal child could 
comprehend the delicate shades: prose and verse had no se- 
crets from her. She spoke Greek, Latin, Italian, English, 
Spanish and French; and while poetry and science made 
for her a crown, the other arts had her protection. The 
court was constantly changing its place of residence; and 
so she was led with it from Saint- Germain to Chambord, 
from Chambord to Fontainebleau, from Fontainebleau to 
the Louvre. There she grew more fascinating every day 
beneath the ceilings of Primatice, in the midst of the can- 


vases of Titian, the frescoes of Eosso, the masterpieces of 
Leonardo da Yinci, the statues of Germain Pilon, the sculp- 
tures of Jean Goujon, the monuments, porticoes, chapels of 
Philibert Delorme; so that any one seeing her so poetic, 
so charming, so perfect among all those marvels of genius, 
would be tempted to believe that she was not a visible cre- 
ation belonging to humanity, but rather some metamorpho- 
sis, like that of Galatea, some Yenus detached from the 
canvas, some Hebe descended from the pedestal. 

And now, as we lack the pencil of the painter, we can 
only try, with the pen of the romancer, to give an idea of 
that intoxicating loveliness. 

She was, we have said, about fourteen years old. Her 
complexion was a blending of the lily, the peach, and the 
rose, with a little more of the lily, perhaps, than of all 
the rest. Her forehead was high and rounded in the upper 
part, and seemed the fitting seat of lofty dignity, being at 
once strange mixture full of gentleness, intelligence and 
daring. One felt that the will inclosed by that forehead, if 
directed toward love and pleasure, would leap beyond ordi- 
nary passions, and when its voluptuous and despotic in- 
stincts should need satisfaction, would not hesitate even at 
crime. Her nose, fine and delicate, yet firm, was aquiline, 
like those of the Guises. Her ear was small, and with the 
convolutions of a shell of mother of pearl, irised with rose 
under the palpitating temple. Her brown eyes, of that tint 
which wavers between chestnut and violet, were of a humid 
transparency, and, however full of flame, under chestnut 
lashes and eyebrows designed with an antique purity. In 
fine, two charming curves formed a mouth with purple 
lips, tremulous and half -opened, which, in smiling, seemed 
to spread joy around her, and which surmounted a vigorous 
chin, white, rounded, and lost in contours which insensibly 
united with an undulating, velvety neck like that of a swan. 

Such was the young girl whom Eonsard and Du Bellay 
named their tenth Muse; such was the head destined thirty- 
one years later to rest on the block of Fotheringay, and 


to be separated from the body by the axe of Elizabeth's 

Alas ! if a magician came and told all that crowd, gazing 
upon the brilliant cavalcade, plunging under the great trees 
of the park of Saint- Grermain, the fate that awaited these 
kings and princes and princesses, these great lords and great 
ladies, is there a woollen jacket or a drugget gown that 
would have changed its lot for that of these fine gentlemen 
in silks and velvets, or of these fair dames with corsages 
embroidered with pearls and gold-brocaded petticoats? 

Let us allow them to wander under the gloomy vaults 
of chestnut and beech, and return to the chateau of Saint- 
Grermain, where we have said that Catherine de Medicis 
remained, under pretext of a slight indisposition. 



HAKDLY had the pages and equerries, forming the last 
ranks of the cortege, disappeared in the depths of the 
coppices which succeed the great trees, and which, 
at this period, made a sort of girdle to the park of Saint- 
Germain, before Catherine withdrew from the balcony, lead- 
ing Charles and Henri with her, and then, sending the elder 
away to his professor, and the younger to his woman attend- 
ants, she remained alone with the little Marguerite, still too 
young for people to trouble themselves about what she 
might see or hear. 

When Catherine's two sons were gone, her confidential 
valet de chambre entered, and announced that the two persons 
she expected were at her orders, in her cabinet. 

She rose immediately, hesitated an instant to consider 
whether she would not dismiss the young princess, as she 
had dismissed the young princes, but, doubtless judging 


her presence of little danger, she took her by the hand, 
and proceeded toward her cabinet. 

Catherine de Medicis was at this time a woman of thirty- 
eight years, of a fine and generous presence, and of great 
majesty. Her dark eyes were almost always half closed, 
except when she felt it necessary to read to the bottom of 
the hearts of her enemies ; then their look had the twofold 
brilliancy and the twofold keenness of two blades drawn 
from their scabbards, and plunged at the same time into 
the same breast, where they remained buried until its most 
secret recesses were explored. 

She had suffered much, and had smiled much to hide her 
sufferings. At first, during the ten years of her marriage 
which were barren, and during which it was twenty times 
debated whether she should not be repudiated, and a new 
spouse given to the dauphin her husband's love pro- 
tected her and struggled obstinately against the most 
terrible of all reasons a state reason. Finally, in 1544, 
after being married eleven years, she gave birth to Prince 

But her husband had already become the lover of Diane 
de Poitiers nine years before. 

Perhaps if she had been a happy mother and a fruitful 
spouse from the beginning of her marriage, she would, as 
woman and queen, have struggled against the fair duchess; 
but her barrenness reduced her to a lower rank than that 
of a mistress. 

Instead of struggling, she yielded, and by her humility 
earned the protection of her rival. 

Moreover, all these brave lords, all these brilliant war- 
riors who had no esteem for any nobility that had not its 
root in blood, and was not a flower gathered on the field 
of battle, made little case of the commercial race of the 
Medicis. They played on the name and on the coat of 
arms: her ancestors were doctors, medici ; their arms were 
not cannon-balls, but pills, they said. 

Mary Stuart, who caressed with her pretty hand the 


Duchesse de Yalentinois, sometimes used the same hand 
as a claw to scratch Catherine. 

' ' Are you coming with us to see the Florentine trades- 
woman?" she said to Connetable de Montmorency. 

Catherine drank all these insults to the dregs: she was 
waiting. What was she waiting for? She did not know 
herself for certain. Henri II. was of the same age as she, 
and his health promised him a long life. No matter; she 
waited with the obstinacy of genius, which, feeling and ap- 
preciating its own value, understands that God makes noth- 
ing useless, and therefore the future held something in store 
for her. 

At this time she belonged to the party of the Cruises. 
The character of Henri was weak, and he could never be 
sole master: now he was master with the constable, and the 
Cruises were in disgrace ; now he was master with the Cruises, 
and it was the constable who was out in the cold. 

And so the following quatrain had been made on 
Henri II. 

Sire, if you let yourself be too much governed, 
And kneaded, melted, this and that way turned, 
As Charles and Diane both alike require, 'tis cire (wax) 
You are, and surely no more sire. 

We know who Diane was; as to Charles, he was the 
Cardinal de Lorraine. 

And, indeed, the family of Lorraine was a proud and 
noble family. One day came Due Claude to render homage 
to FranQois I. at the Louvre. He was accompanied by his 
six sons, and King Fra^ois said to him, "My cousin, I hold 
you for a very fortunate man to see yourself renewed before 
dying in such a fair and wealthy posterity. ' ' 

These words were true: Due Claude, at his death, left 
behind him the richest, ablest, and most ambitious family 
in the kingdom. These six brothers, presented to Frangois 
by their father, possessed a revenue of about eight hundred 
thousand livres; that is to say, more than four millions, 
according to the value of money at present. 


First came the eldest, he who was called Due Frangois 
le Balafre; the great Due de Guise, in fact. His position at 
court was that of a prince of the blood. He had a chaplain, 
eight secretaries, twenty pages, eighty officers, kennels 
whose tenants were only inferior to the greyhounds of the 
king, "the royal pedigree," as the term then was; stables 
filled with Arabian horses brought from Africa, Turkey, 
and Spain; gerfalcons and falcons beyond price, sent him 
by Soliman and all the infidel princes, who presented them 
to him as tokens of their respect for his fame. The King 
of Navarre wrote to him to announce the birth of his son, 
afterward Henri IV. The Conne'table de Montmorency, the 
haughtiest baron of his age, in writing to him, began his 
letter with Monseigneur, and ended with Your very humble 
and obedient servant, while he, on the other hand, ad- 
dressed him as, M. le Connetable and Your very good friend; 
which, for that matter, was far from being true, the House 
of Guise and the House of Montmorency being at eternal 

It is necessary to read the chronicles of the time, either 
placed before our view by the aristocratic pen of Brantome, 
or registered hour by hour in the journal of the "Grand 
Audiencier Pierre de 1'Estoille, to form an idea of the power 
of this privileged race, as much at home in the streets as on 
the field of battle, as eagerly listened to in the stalls of the 
markets as in the cabinets of the Louvre, Windsor, and the 
Vatican, especially when it spoke through the lips of Due 
Frangois. Just only look at the cuirass in the Musee d' Ar- 
tillery, which the eldest of the Guises wore at the siege of 
Metz, and you will see there the trace of five balls, three of 
which would certainly have been mortal if they had not been 
deadened against the rampart of steel. 

Consequently, it was a joy for the population of Paris 
when he issued forth from the Hotel de Guise, and when, 
far better known and more popular than the king himself, 
mounted on Fleur-de-lis or Mouton they were his two favor- 
ite steeds with his pourpoint and breeches of crimson silk, 


his velvet mantle, his cap surmounted by a plume of the 
same color, and followed by four hundred gentlemen, he 
traversed the streets of the capital. All flocked to see him 
on his passage, some breaking off branches and others 
plucking flowers and casting branches and flowers under 
his horse's feet, while crying 

"Long live our Duke!" 

And he, standing up on his spurs, as he did on the field 
of battle, in order to see further and invite danger to him- 
self, or leaning down to the right and left, with a courteous 
salutation for the women, the aged, and, indeed, for all 
human beings, with a smile for the young girls, and a caress 
for the children, he was the true king, not of the Louvre, 
Saint- G-ermain, Fontainebleau, or Tournelles, but the king 
of the streets and market stalls a true king, a real king, 
since he was king. of hearts! 

So, at the risk of the truce of which France had so great 
need, when Pope Paul III. on account of a private quarrel 
with the Colonna, who were rendered bold enough to take 
up arms against the Holy See by the support they expected 
to find in Philip II. when the Pope, we say, because of 
this quarrel, declared that the King of Spain had forfeited 
the kingdom of Naples, and offered this realm to Henri II. , 
the king had no hesitation in naming FranQois de Cruise 
commander- in- chief of the army he sent into Italy. 

It is true that on this occasion, and perhaps for the first 
time, Guise and Montmorency happened to be of one mind. 
For, when FranQois de Cruise was outside of France, Anne 
de Montmorency was sure to be the first person in the realm; 
and, while the great captain was pursuing beyond the moun- 
tains his plans of glory, Montmorency, who believed him- 
self a great statesman, was pursuing his plans of ambition 
at the court, and his most ardent ambition was, for the mo- 
ment, to marry his son to Madame Diane, the legitimate 
daughter of the Duchesse de Yalentinois, and widow of the 
Duke de Castro, of the House of Farnese, killed at the as- 
sault of Hesdin. 


Frangois de Guise was then at Rome, making war on the 
Duke of Alba. 

With Due Frangois was the Cardinal de Lorraine, a great 
prince of the church, scarcely inferior to his brother in any- 
thing, and whom Pope Pius V. called the Pope beyond the 
mountains. ' ' He was, ' ' says the author of the * ' History of 
Mary Stuart," "a two-edged sword as a negotiator, as proud 
as a Guise and as subtle as an Italian. ' ' Later on he was to 
conceive, mature, and put into execution that great idea of 
the League which placed his nephew on the steps of a throne 
up to the moment when both nephew and uncle fell, pierced 
by the swords of the Forty -five. When the six Guises were 
at court, the four, the Due d'Aumale, the Grand Prior, the 
Marquis d'Elbeuf, and the Cardinal de Guise, never -failed 
to come first to the levee of Cardinal Charles; then all five 
went to that of Due Frangois, who conducted them to the 

Both, for that matter the one as a warrior, the other as 
a churchman had erected their batteries for the future: 
Due Frangois had become the master of the king, and Car- 
dinal Charles the lover of the queen. The grave Estoille 
relates the fact in a manner that cannot leave the most in- 
credulous reader in doubt: "One of my friends told me that, 
having slept with the valet of the cardinal in a chamber 
next to that of the queen -mother, he saw the cardinal, 
dressed only in a robe de chambre, going to see the said 
queen, and that his friend begged him not to mention it to 
any one, or he might lose his life. ' ' 

As to the four princes of the House of Guise, to attempt 
their portrait would lead us too far, and, besides, the part 
they play in our story is almost null. Let us confine our- 
selves, therefore, to those we have sketched of Due Fran- 
gois and Cardinal Charles. 

It was Cardinal Charles whom we have beheld one 
night, dressed only in a robe de chambre, going to see the 
said queen, that was waiting for Catherine de Me'dicis in 
her cabinet. 


Catherine knew she should find him there, but she ex- 
pected to find him alone. 

He was, however, accompanied by a young man of from 
twenty- five to twenty -six years, elegantly clad, although 
still wearing his travelling-dress. 

"Ah! it is you, M. de Nemours!" exclaimed Catherine, 
as soon as she perceived him. "You arrive from Italy? 
What news from Eome ?" 

"Bad!" replied the cardinal, while the Due de Nemours 
saluted the queen. 

"Bad! Could our dear cousin the Due de Guise have 
been beaten?" asked Catherine. "Take care! Though 
you answered yes, I would say no, to such a degree do I 
hold the thing impossible!" 

"No, madame," replied Nemours, "M. de Guise has not 
been beaten ; as you say, the thing is impossible ! But he 
has been betrayed by the Caraffa, abandoned by the Pope 
himself; and he has despatched me to the king to tell him 
that the position was no longer tenable either for his own 
glory or for that of France, and that he demanded reinforce- 
ments or a recall. ' ' 

"And, according to our arrangements, madame," said 
the cardinal, ' ' I have led M. de Nemours to you first. ' ' 

"But," said Catherine, "the recall of M. de Guise is the 
abandonment of the King of France's claim to the kingdom 
of Naples, and of mine to the duchy of Tuscany. ' ' 

"Yes," said the cardinal; "but you may be quite sure, 
madame, that we shall soon have war in France, and that 
then we shall not so much think of conquering Naples and 
Florence as of protecting Paris. ' ' 

"What, Paris? You are laughing, M. le Cardinal. It 
seems to me that France can defend France, and Paris can 
protect herself without any help. ' ' 

"I am afraid you are mistaken, madame," replied the 
cardinal. "The best of our troops, counting on the truce, 
have passed into Italy with my brother; and, certainly, ex- 
cept for the ambiguous conduct of Cardinal Caraffa and the 


treason of the Duke of Parma, who has forgotten what he 
owed to the King of France, and deserted to the Emperor, 
our prospects of success in Naples, and the necessity under 
which Philip II. would have labored of stripping himself to 
protect Naples, would have safeguarded us from an attack; 
but now that Philip II. is sure he has men enough in Italy 
to hold us in check, he will turn his eyes in the direction of 
France, and not fail to profit by its weakness. Need I add 
that the nephew of M. le Connetable has been guilty of a 
piece of folly which will give to the rupture of the truce by 
Philip II. an appearance of justice?" 

"You mean his attack on Douai?" 


"Listen," said Catherine. "You know I like the ad- 
miral as little as you do yourself; so you may do him as 
much harm as you can without my placing any obstacle in 
your way ; on the contrary, I will help you all I can. ' ' 

"Meanwhile, what do you decide on doing?" said the 
cardinal. And seeing that she hesitated, "Oh!" he said, 
"you can speak before M. de Nemours; he is of Savoy, it is 
true, but as much our friend as his cousin Emmanuel Phili- 
bert is our enemy. ' ' 

"Decide yourself, my dear cardinal," casting an oblique 
glance at him; "I am but a woman whose weak mind has 
little skill in affairs of state. Decide, then. ' ' 

The cardinal had understood the look of Catherine: for 
her there were no friends ; there were only accomplices. 

"No matter, madame, " said Charles; "be good enough 
to give an opinion, and I shall take the liberty of combating 
it, should it" happen to be in contradiction with mine." 

"Well, I think," said Catherine, "that the king, being 
the head of the state, ought to be informed of these impor- 
tant things before all others. In my opinion, then, if M. de 
Nemours is not too tired, he ought to take a horse, join the 
king wherever he is, and transmit to him the intelligence 
which your kindness, my dear cardinal, has made me mis- 
tress of before him who should be first to hear it. ' ' 


The cardinal turned to the Duke de Nemours, as if to 
question him. 

"I am never fatigued, monseigneur, " he said, "when the 
service of the king is in question. " 

"In that case," said the cardinal, "I shall order a horse 
for you, and also warn the secretaries that the king will 
hold a council on his return from the chase; come, M. de 
Nemours. ' ' 

The young duke respectfully saluted the queen, and 
made ready to follow the Cardinal de Lorraine, when Cath- 
erine lightly touched the arm of the latter. 

1 ' Pass before me, M. de Nemours, ' ' said Charles de Cruise. 

"Monseigneur " returned Jacques de Nemours, hesitat- 
ing, "I beg of you to do so." 

' ' And I order you, M. le Due, ' ' said Catherine, offering 
him her hand. 

The duke, understanding that the queen doubtless had a 
last word to say to the cardinal, no longer made a difficulty 
of obeying; and, kissing her hand, he went out first, de- 
signedly letting the hangings fall back behind him. 

"What did you want to say to me, my dear queen ?" 

"I wanted to say to you," replied Catherine, "that the 
good King Louis XL, who, in exchange for five hundred 
thousand loaned him, gave to our ancestor Lorenzo de Me'di- 
cis leave to place three fleurs-de-lis in our arms, was in the 
habit of repeating : ' If my nightcap knew my secret, I would 
burn it!' Meditate on this maxim of the good King Louis, 
my dear cardinal. You are too confiding!" 

The cardinal smiled at the warning given him ; he, who 
passed for the most distrustful statesman of the time, had 
met with a distrust greater than his own. 

It is true he met it in the Florentine, Catherine de 

The cardinal, in turn, broke through the rampart of the 
tapestry hangings, and saw the prudent young man, in order 
not to be accused of curiosity, waiting for him ten paces 
further on in the corridor. 


Both descended into the courtyard, where Charles de 
Guise ordered a page of the stables to bring him a horse, 
ready saddled, at once. 

The page returned in five minutes, leading the horse. 
Nemours leaped into the saddle with the elegance of a 
consummate cavalier, and rode at a gallop through the 
main alley of the park. 

The young man had been careful to ask information as 
to the direction taken by the chase, and was told the animal 
would be attacked near the road to Passy. 

He, therefore, rode toward that point in the expectation 
that the sound of the horn would guide him to the spot 
where the king happened to be. But when near the road 
to Passy, he saw and heard nothing. 

He questioned a woodcutter, who told him that the hunt 
was now somewhere in the direction of Conflans. He imme- 
diately turned his horse toward the point indicated. 

At the end of an hour, while crossing a transverse path, 
he perceived, in the middle of a neighboring crossroad, a 
rider who was standing up in the stirrups, in order to see 
further, and was holding his hand to his ear in order to hear 

This rider was a hunter, evidently trying to find his way. 

However astray this hunter might be, he was more likely to 
have an idea of the probable situation of the king than the 
young duke, who had arrived from Italy hardly half an hour 
before. So M. de Nemours rode straight up to the hunter. 

The latter, seeing a horseman approaching, and thinking 
he might learn something from him about the progress of 
the chase, also advanced some steps. 

But soon both, with a similar movement, set spurs to 
their horses; they had recognized each other. 

The strayed hunter, who tried to find his way by stand- 
ing up in his stirrups in order to see, and holding his hand to 
his ear in order to hear, was the captain of the Scotch Guard. 

The two cavaliers approached with that courteous famili- 
arity which distinguished the young lords of the period. 




Moreover, although, it is true, the Due cle Nemours was 
of a princely house, the Comte de Montgomery belonged 
to the oldest Norman nobility, a descendant of that Roger 
de Montgomery who helped William the Bastard to con- 
quer England. 

Now, at this period, there existed in France some old 
names that believed themselves the equals of the most puis- 
sant and glorious names, in spite of the inferiority of the 
titles they bore. It was so with the Montmorencys, whose 
title was only that of baron; with the Rohans, who were 
only seigneurs; with the Coucys, who were only sires; and 
with the Montgomerys, who were only counts. 

As Nemours had guessed, Montgomery had lost track 
of the hunt, and was trying to find his way. 

For that matter, the place where they found themselves 
was well chosen for the purpose, since it was a crossroad 
situated on an elevation toward which every sound must 
ascend, and commanding five or six paths, by one of which 
the animal would not fail to pass, when driven by the 

The two young noblemen, who had not seen each other 
for more than six months, had, besides, a thousand impor- 
tant questions to ask: Montgomery on the subject of the 
army and the deeds of high emprise which M. de Cruise 
must have naturally essayed; the other on the subject of 
the French court, and the fine love -ad ventures that must 
have taken place there. 

They were at the liveliest part of this interesting conver- 
sation when Comte Montgomery laid his hand on the arm 
of the duke. He fancied he heard the baying of the pack 
in the distance. 

Both listened. De Lorges was not deceived: at the ex- 
tremity of an immense alley they saw an enormous boar pass 
as swiftly as an arrow; then, some fifty paces behind him, 
the most eager of the hounds, then the bulk of the pack, 
then the stragglers. 

At the same moment Montgomery put his horn to his lips 

(10) Vol. 20 


and sounded the sighting of the game, in order to rally such 
as, like himself, had gone astray ; and the number must have 
been great, f or three persons only were on the track of the 
animal a man and two women. 

From the ardor with which he urged his steed, the two 
believed it was the king; but the distance was so great that 
it was impossible to tell who were the bold Amazons follow- 
ing him so closely. All the rest of the hunt seemed com- 
pletely out of its reckoning. 

Nemours and Montgomery galloped to an alley which, 
in view of the direction taken by the animal, allowed them 
to cut the chase at a right angle. 

The king had, in fact, attacked the beast, which, in terms 
of venery, was what was called a ragot. It had made for one 
direction with the obstinacy of the older animals, and was 
dashing straight along on the road to Conflans. The king 
was at once on its track, and at the sound of his horn all 
the court followed the king. 

But boars are bad courtiers: the one with whom, for 
the moment, they had to do, instead of choosing the way 
through the great old forest-trees and along the easy paths, 
had dashed into the thickest copses and closest briars; 
hence it resulted that, at the end of a quarter of an hour, 
only the most enthusiastic hunters were near the king, and 
that of all the ladies only three held out. These were Ma- 
dame Marguerite, the king's sister, Diane de Poitiers, and 
Mary Stuart, the little reinette, as Catherine de Medicis 
called her. 

In spite of the courage of the illustrious hunters and 
huntresses we have named, the difficulties of the ground, 
the thickness of the wood, which obliged the riders to 
make detours, and the height of the clumps of briars, 
which it was impossible to clear, soon caused them to 
lose sight of boar and hounds; but, at the extremity of 
the forest, the animal met a wall, and was forced to return 
on his traces. 

The king, distanced for an instant, but sure of his 


hounds, then halted. This gave a few hunters time to 
join him; the baying was soon heard again. 

The portion of the forest for which the animal was now 
making a set was more open than the other; as a conse- 
quence, the king could resume the chase with a chance 
of soon having the boar at bay. 

Only, the same thing happened that happened ten min- 
utes before: each held out according as his strength and 
courage allowed him. Moreover, in the midst of this court, 
entirely composed of fair lords and gallant dames, many, 
perhaps, stayed behind, without being absolutely forced 
thereto by the slowness of their horses, by the thickness 
of the wood, or the inequalities of the ground; and this 
was clearly proved by the attitude of the groups stopping 
at the corners of the alleys and in the middle of the cross- 
roads, which seemed more attentive to the conversation that 
was going on than to the baying of the hounds or the h.orns 
of the whippers-in. 

And so it happened, when the animal came in view of 
Montgomery and Nemours, it was followed by only a single 
horseman, in whom they recognized the king, with two 
ladies whom they did not know. 

It was, in fact, the king, who, with his usual ardor, 
wanted to be the first at the death, to be present at the 
moment when the boar would make a stand backed against 
some tree or rock, and would face the hounds. 

The two Amazons following the horseman were Madame 
de Yalentinois and little Queen Mary the one the best, the 
other the boldest, rider in the entire court. 

The boar, for that matter, was growing tired; clearly, 
he would have to come to a stand before long; the fiercest 
of the dogs were already breathing close to his hide. 

For a quarter of an hour, however, he tried to escape his 
enemies by flight; but, feeling them nearer and nearer, he 
resolved to die bravely, like the courageous animal he was, 
and, finding a stump of a tree convenient, he planted him- 
self there, growling and striking his immense jaws together. 


No sooner had lie stopped than the pack was on him, 
and indicated, by its redoubled baying, that the animal 
was making a stand. 

With the baying, the sound of the horn was soon min- 
gled. Henri arrived, following the dogs as closely as they 
followed the boar. 

He looked around him while winding his horn in search 
of his arquebusier; but he had distanced even the most ac- 
tive whippers-in, even those whose duty it was never to lose 
sight of him, and saw, galloping up with all the speed of 
their horses, only Diane and Mary Stuart, who, as we have 
said, held out. 

Not a ringlet of the fair duchess's head was out of place, 
and her velvet cap was fixed as firmly on the top as at the 
moment of setting out. 

As for little Mary, she had lost veil and cap; and her 
beautiful chestnut hair, scattered to the breeze, as well as 
the charming flush on her cheeks, bore witness to the ardor 
of the chase. 

At the prolonged notes the king drew from his horn, the 
arquebusier appeared, one arquebuse in his hand, and the 
other hanging from the bow of his saddle. 

Behind him might be seen, through the thickness of the 
wood, golden broideries and the dazzling colors of robes, 
doublets and mantles. It was the hunters and huntresses 
now approaching from all sides. 

The animal was doing his best; attacked at the same 
time by sixty dogs, he made head against all his enemies. 
It is true that while the sharpest teeth were blunted on 
his wrinkled hide, every stroke of his tusks made a deadly 
wound in such of his adversaries as came within its reach; 
but, although mortally injured, although losing all their 
blood, and with their entrails dragging along the ground, 
the king's grays, as they were called, were such a noble 
breed that they only returned the more furiously to the 
combat, and it could only be known that they were wounded 
by the stains of blood that streaked this moving carpet. 


The king saw it was time to put an end to the butchery, 
if he were not to lose his best dogs. He threw away his 
horn, and made a sign for his arquebuse. 

The match had been lighted ; the arquebusier had but to 
present the weapon to the king. Henri was a good marks- 
man, and rarely missed his aim. 

With the arquebuse in his hand, he advanced to within 
about twenty paces of the boar, whose eyes shone like two 
live coals. He aimed between the eyes and fired. 

The animal received the discharge in his head ; but by 
a movement he made when the king had his hand on the 
trigger, the animal slightly inclined his head, and the ball 
glanced off the bone, killing one of the dogs. 

The track of the ball could be seen between the eye 
and the ear of the boar by the blood that indicated its 

Henri remained astonished for an instant at the circum- 
stance that the boar had not at once fallen, while his horse, 
all quivering, his hind legs bending under him, was beating 
the ground in front of him. 

He handed the arquebuse to the groom, and demanded 
another. The other was ready, with the match lighted; the 
groom presented it. 

The king took it, and raised the butt to his shoulder. 
But, before he had time to aim, the boar, doubtless unwill- 
ing to risk the chance of a second shot, scattered the dogs 
surrounding him by a violent thrust, opened a bloody path- 
way through the middle of the pack, and, quick as light- 
ning, passed between the legs of the king's horse, which 
reared, giving an agonizing neigh, showed his belly, from 
which the blood and entrails were dropping, and suddenly 
fell down, with the king under him. 

All this had been so instantaneous that not one of the 
spectators thought of rushing in front of the boar, which 
now turned on the king before he even had time to draw his 
hunting- knife. 

Henri tried to reach it ; it was impossible. The hunting- 


knife was under the king's left side, and so placed that it 
was useless to think of extricating it. 

Brave as the king was, his mouth was already opened 
to cry for help for the hideous head of the boar, its eyes of 
flame, its bloody jowl and teeth of steel were within a few 
inches of him when suddenly he heard a voice in his ear, 
whose firm accents there was no mistaking, saying to him 

"Do not stir, sire; I answer for everything!" 

Then he felt an arm, which raised his, and saw, like a 
flash of lightning, a broad, keen blade pass under his shoul- 
der, and plunge up to the hilt in the body of the boar. 

At the same moment two vigorous arms drew him back, 
leaving, exposed to the animal, only the new adversary who 
had stricken it to the heart. 

He who pulled the king back was the Due de Nemours. 
He who, with his knee on the ground and his arm extended, 
had just stricken the boar to the heart was the Comte de 

Montgomery drew his sword from the body of the ani- 
mal, wiped it on the green, grassy turf, returned it to the 
scabbard, and, approaching Henri II. as if nothing extraor- 
dinary had occurred 

1 ' Sire, ' ' said he, "I have the honor to present to you M. 
le Due de Nemours, who has just come from beyond the 
mountains, and brings news of M. le Due de Cruise and his 
brave army of Italy. ' ' 



TWO hours after the scene we have described, the spec- 
tators having appeased their private or official emo- 
tion, congratulations having been tendered to Gabriel 
de Lorges, Comte de Montgomery, and to Jacques of Savoy, 
Due de Nemours, the two saviors of the king, on the cour- 


age and address displayed by them on the occasion, and the 
quarry a matter whose importance even the gravest affairs 
did not permit to be neglected having been disposed of in 
the great court of the chateau, in the presence of the king, 
queen, and all the lords and ladies staying at Saint- Ger- 
main, Henri II., with a smiling countenance, as was natural 
in the case of one just escaped from imminent death, and 
who feels the fuller of life and health on account of the very 
greatness of the peril Henri II. , we say, entered his cabi- 
net, where, besides his ordinary councillors, the Cardinal de 
. Lorraine and the Connetable de Montmorency were awaiting 

We have already mentioned the Connetable Montmo- 
rency ; but we have neglected to do for him what we have 
done for the other heroes of our tale that is to say, to ex- 
hume him from the tomb and make him stand up before our 
readers, like that great Connetable de Bourbon who was 
carried by his soldiers, after his death, to a painter, in order 
that a portrait of him might be painted standing all armed, 
as if he had been alive. 

Anne de Montmorency was, then, the head of that old 
family of Christian barons of France, as they were entitled, 
sprung from Bouchard de Montmorency, and which has 
given ten constables to the realm. 

He was called, and so styled himself, Anne de Montmo- 
rency Duke, Peer, Marshal, Grand-Master, Constable, and 
First Baron of France; Knight of Saint- Michael and of the 
Garter; Captain of the king's hundred orderlies; Governor 
and Lieutenant- General of Languedoc; Comte de Beaumont, 
Dammartin, La Fere-en-Tardenois, and Chateaubriant ; Yi- 
comte de Melun and Montreuil; Baron d'Amville, Preaux, 
Montbron, Offemont, Mello, Chateauneuf, Rochepot, Dangu, 
Meru, Thore, Savoisy, Gourville, Derval, Chanceaux, 
Rouge, Aspremont, and Maintenay; Seigneur d'Ecouen, 
Chantilly, L' Isle- Adam, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, Nogent, 
Yalmondois, Compiegne, Gandelu, Marigny, and Thourout. 

As may be seen from this nomenclature of titles, the 


king might be king in Paris, but Montmorency was duke, 
count, and baron all around Paris; so that royalty itself 
seemed imprisoned in his duchies, counties, and baronies. 

Born in 1493, he was, at the period we have reached, an 
old man of sixty-four who, though looking his age, had the 
strength and vigor of a man of thirty. Violent and brutal, 
he had all the rough qualities of the soldier blind courage, 
ignorance of danger, insensibility to fatigue, hunger, and 
thirst. Full of pride, swollen with vanity, he yielded to 
none but the Due de Guise, and to him only as a prince of 
Lorraine, for as a general he believed himself the superior 
of the defender of Metz and the conqueror of Eenty. 

In his eyes Henri II. was the little master ; the great mas- 
ter had been Frangois I., and he declined to recognize any 
other. An eccentric courtier and a man of tenacious ambi- 
tion, he gained advantages tending to increase his wealth 
and power by his brutality and insolence, which another 
could only have obtained by suppleness and adulation. 
Moreover, Diane de Yalentinois aided him very much in his 
schemes ; seconding the violent old trooper with her gentle 
voice and look and countenance, she smoothed down all the 
antipathies his vehemence created, and without her help he 
would not have succeeded. He had been already in four 
great battles, and in each had done the work of a vigor- 
ous man-at-arms, but in none that of an intelligent leader. 
These four battles were, first, that of Kavenna; he was then 
sixteen years old, and followed, as an amateur and for his 
own pleasure, the general standard in the capacity of volun- 
teer. The second was that of Marignano. There he com- 
manded a company of a hundred men-at-arms, and he would 
have been able to boast that the most vigorous strokes were 
given by his sword and mace, had he not had near him, and 
often in front of him, his great master Frangois I. that hun- 
dred-handed giant, as he might be called in a certain sense, 
who would have conquered the world, if the world was to 
be conquered by him who struck the strongest and dough- 
tiest blows. The third was that of La Bicoque, where he 


was colonel of the Swiss, and where he handled the pike and 
was left for dead. In fine, the fourth was that of Pavia. 
He had then become Marshal of France by the death of M. 
de Chatillon, his brother-in-law. Not suspecting that the 
battle was to take place the next day, he set out during the 
night to make a reconnoissance ; hearing the roar of the can- 
non, he returned, and was taken "with the rest," says Bran- 
tome. And, in fact, at that disastrous defeat of Pavia, every 
one was taken, even the king. 

Unlike M. de Guise, who had the strongest sympathies 
of the bourgeoisie and the men of the robe, he detested the 
bourgeois and execrated the lawyers. He let no occasion 
slip of giving a piece of his mind to both of them. It hap- 
pened that the president of a court came to speak to him 
one very hot day on the subject of his office. M. de Mont- 
morency received him with his cap in his hand, and said 

"Come, M. le President, say what you have to say at 
once, and in the meantime cover yourself." 

But the president, believing it was to do him honor that 
Montmorency remained uncovered, replied 

' ' Monsieur, I cannot think of covering myself until you 
do the same. ' ' 

"Why, you must be a consummate fool, monsieur!" said 
the constable. "Do you really fancy I have taken off my 
cap through love of you? No; it has been for my own 
ease, my friend, seeing that I am dying of the heat. Go on; 
I am listening. ' ' 

At which the president, all confused, could do nothing 
but stammer. Thereupon said Montmorency to him 

' ' You are an idiot, M. le President ! Go home and learn 
your lesson ; then return, but not before. ' ' 

And he turned on his heel. 

The people of Bordeaux having revolted and killed their 
governor, the constable was sent against them. They, 
knowing he was coming and that the reprisals would be 
terrible, went a two days' journey to meet him, carrying 
the keys of the city. 


But he addressed them, fully armed and on horseback : 
"Begone, Messieurs of Bordeaux," he said "begone, you 
ami your keys! I have no need of them." And, pointing 
to the cannons, "There are my keys; they will open your 
city in a different fashion from the way you open it. Ah, 
I'll teach you to rebel against the king and kill his governor 
and lieutenant! You may stake your faith, I'll have every 
one of you hanged!" 

And he kept his word. 

At Bordeaux, M. de Strozzi, who had manoeuvred his 
troops the evening before in his presence, came to pay his 
respects to him, although a relation of the queen. As soon 
as Montmorency saw him, he exclaimed: 

"Ha! good- day, Strozzi! your fellows did wonders yes- 
terday, and they made a really fine sight; they shall have 
their money, therefore, to-day. I have ordered it. ' ' 

"Thanks, M. le Connetable," replied Strozzi; "I cannot 
tell you how delighted I am to find you are satisfied with 
them, for I have a petition to make to you on their part. ' ' 

' ' What is it, Strozzi ? Say on ! " 

"They say that wood is awfully dear in this city, and 
the sums they are paying for it during the present severe 
cold are actually ruining them; they beg you to give them 
a ship, called the 'Montreal,' which is beached on the 
strand and of no further use, so that they may break 
it up and warm themselves." 

"Why, of course I will!" said the constable; "let them 
set about the thing at once, break it up and warm them- 
selves as well as they can, for it is my pleasure. ' ' 

But while he was at dinner, the aldermen and councillors 
of the city came to him. Whether Strozzi had seen badly, 
or had been deceived by the report of the soldiers, or had 
but little acquaintance with ships old or new, the one whose 
demolition he asked for was still capable of making many a 
prosperous voyage. These worthy magistrates came, there- 
fore, to represent to Montmorency what a pity it would be 
to cut up so fine a vessel, which had so far only made two 


or three voyages, and was registered at three hundred 

But the constable interrupted them in his customary tone 
before they were half-way: 

"Good! good! And pray who are you, you idiots, to 
venture to prescribe to me ? You must think yourselves 
no small people when you dare to thus utter a remonstrance 
in my presence. If I acted rightly and I don't know what 
is keeping me from doing it I should send and have your 
houses pulled to pieces instead of the ship; and if you are 
not out of this in a jiffy, it's just what I shall do. Go home 
and mind your own business; don't meddle with mine!" 

And the same day the ship was broken up. 

During the intervals of peace, the great anger of Mont- 
morency was exercised on the ministers of the Eeformed 
religion, for whom his hatred was ferocious. One of his 
relaxations was to go into the temples of Paris and hunt 
them from their pulpits; and, having one day discovered 
that they were holding a consistory with permission of the 
king, he made his way to Popincourt, entered the assembly, 
overturned the pulpit, broke all the benches and made a 
great bonfire of them ; this expedition won him the surname 
of Captain Brule- Banes. 

And all these brutalities were accomplished by the con- 
stable while mumbling his prayers, and especially the Lord's 
Prayer, which was his favorite, and which he combined in 
the most grotesque fashion with the barbarous orders he 
gave and never revoked. 

Misfortune was abroad when he began in some such way 
as this: 

"Our Father who art in heaven (Go and hang that fellow 
at once /), hallowed be Thy name (String yon other fellow up 
to that tree!). Thy kingdom come (Let that rascal run the 
gantlet of the pikes!). Thy will be done on earth (Have 
those scoundrels shot immediately!), as it is in heaven. (Cut 
in pieces all those knaves who dared to hold the tower against 
me /) Give us this day our daily bread (Burn me yonder 


village), and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those 
who have trespassed against us! (Set fire to the four corners, 
and let not one house escape /) And lead us not into tempta- 
tion (If the clowns cry out against it, fling them into the fire 
also!), but deliver us from evil. Amen!" 

This was called the Pater-Nosters of the constable. Such 
was the man Henri II. found, on entering his cabinet, seated 
in front of the keen, crafty, aristocratic Cardinal de Lor- 
raine, the most courteous of high-born churchmen and the 
shrewdest statesman of his time. 

It is easy to understand that these two natures, so ab- 
solutely contrary to each other, must constantly come in 
collision, and must give great trouble to the state by their 
ambitious rivalries. 

And the more so that Montmorency 's family was almost 
as numerous as that of Guise, the constable having had by 
his wife, Madame de Savoie, daughter of Messire Rene, 
bastard of Savoy and Grand- Master of France, five sons 
MM. de Montmorency, d'Amville, de Me*ru, de Montbron, 
and de Thore, and five daughters, of whom four were mar- 
ried to MM. de la Tremouille, de Turenne, de Yentadour 
and de Candale, the fifth and most beautiful of all becoming 
Abbess of Saint- Pierre de Rheims. 

Now all these illustrious people had to be well established 
a subject on which the grasping constable was meditating 
when the king entered. 

On perceiving Henri, all rose and uncovered. 

The king saluted Montmorency with a friendly and al- 
most soldier-like gesture, while he bowed to the cardinal 
with every appearance of deference. 

"I have summoned you, gentlemen," he said, "for the 
subject on which I have to consult you is grave. M. de 
Nemours has arrived from Italy, where affairs are turning 
out badly, owing to the failure of his Holiness to keep his 
word, and the treason of most of our allies. Everything, at 
first, succeeded wonderfully. M. de Strozzi captured Ostia; 
it is true we lost in the trenches of the city M. de Montluc 


brave and worthy gentleman, for whose soul, gentlemen, 
I ask your prayers. Thereupon, .the Duke of Alba, knowing 
the near arrival of your illustrious brother, my dear cardi- 
nal, retired to Naples. All the places in the neighborhood 
of Borne were, in consequence, successively occupied by us. 
In effect, after crossing the Milanese, the duke advanced 
to Eeggio, where his father-in-law, the Duke of Ferrara, 
awaited him with six thousand infantry and eight hundred 
cavalry. There a counsel was held between Cardinal Caraffa 
and Jean de Lodeve, ambassador of the king. One party 
was of opinion that Cremona or Pavia ought to be attacked, 
while Marechal de Brissac was holding the enemy in check; 
the other represented that, before either could be occupied, 
the Duke of Alba would have doubled his army by raising 
levies in Tuscany and the kingdom of Naples. Cardinal 
Caraffa was of a different opinion : he proposed entering the 
march of Ancona through the Terra di Lavoro, all whose 
fortresses, being badly fortified, would, he said, surrender at 
the first summons ; but the Duke of Ferrara insisted, on the 
other hand, that the defence of the Holy See being the prin- 
cipal object of the campaign, the Due de Cruise should march 
straight on Rome. The Due de Guise decided for the latter 
course, and wished to take with him the six thousand in- 
fantry and eight hundred cavalry of the Duke of Ferrara, 
who refused, saying he might be attacked at any moment 
by the Grandduke Cosmo de Medicis or by the Duke of 
Parma, who had just joined the Spaniards. M. de Guise, 
gentlemen, was then obliged to continue his march with the 
few troops left him, having no hope except in the contingent 
which, according to Cardinal Caraffa, was to join the French 
army at Bologna. Arrived at Bologna with the cardinal, 
his nephew, the duke looked in vain for this contingent. It 
did not exist. Your brother, my dear cardinal, complained 
loudly; but Caraffa answered that he was going to look up 
ten thousand men lately levied in the march of Ancona. 
The duke tried to believe in this promise, and continued 
on his way through the Komagna. No reinforcement came 


to him ; lie left our army there under the command of M. 
d'Aumale, and proceeded to Eome directly, to learn from 
the Holy Father himself what he intended to do. The Pope, 
driven to the wall by M. de Cruise, replied that he agreed, 
indeed, to have a contingent of twenty-four thousand men 
for this war, but that among these twenty -four thousand 
were comprised the soldiers holding the strong places of 
the Church; now those thus employed numbered eighteen 
thousand. M. de Cruise saw he could only reckon on the 
men he had with him; but, according to the saying of 
the Pope, these men ought to be enough, as the French 
had never failed, up to this time, in their enterprises on 
Naples, except when they had the Sovereign Pontiff against 
them. Now this time, instead of being against them, the 
Sovereign Pontiff was with them ; and, thanks to this moral 
and spiritual co-operation, the French were sure to succeed. 
M. de Cruise, my dear constable, is a little like you in this 
respect: he never doubts of his fortune when he has his 
good sword by his side, and a few thousand brave men 
behind him. He hastened the coming of his army ; and as 
soon as it joined him, he marched out of Eome, attacked 
Campli, carried it by storm, and put all, men, women and 
children, to the sword." 

The constable received the news of this execution with 
the first visible sign of approbation he had given. 

The cardinal remained impassive. 

"After Campli," continued the king, "he laid siege to 
Civitella, which is, it appears, built on a craggy hill, and 
well supplied with fortifications. He began by battering 
down the citadel; but before a practicable breach could 
be made, our soldiers, with their usual impatience, risked 
an assault. Unfortunately, the place they tried to force was 
defended on all sides by bastions; our army was repulsed 
with the loss of two hundred killed and three hundred 
wounded. ' ' 

A smile of joy broke over the lips of the constable; the 
invincible hero had failed before a shed. 


"Meanwhile," the king went on, "the Duke of Alba had 
gathered his troops together at Chieti, and now marched to 
the succor of the besieged with an army of three thousand 
Spaniards, six thousand Germans, three thousand Italians, 
and three hundred Calabrians. It was more than double 
the number possessed by the Due de Guise. This inferi- 
ority determined the duke to raise the siege and meet the 
enemy in the open plain between Fermo and Ascoli. He 
hoped the Duke of Alba would accept the battle offered 
him ; but the Duke of Alba, sure that we should be ruined 
in any case, simply occupied the country, and would accept 
neither battle nor encounter except in positions that left us 
no chance of success. In this situation, without hopes of 
obtaining from the Pope either men or money, M. de Guise 
sends M. de Nemours to me to ask a considerable reinforce- 
ment, or leave to quit Italy and return. What is your opin- 
ion, gentlemen ? Should we make one last effort, and send 
our well-beloved duke the men and money he absolutely 
needs, or recall him, and, by recalling him, renounce our 
claims to that fair kingdom of Naples, which, on the prom- 
ise of his Holiness, we had intended for our son Charles?" 

The constable made a gesture, as if to ask leave to speak, 
while at the same time indicating that he was ready to give 
way to the Cardinal de Lorraine; but the latter, by a slight 
motion of the head, gave it to be understood he might 
speak first. 

It was, for that matter, the usual tactics of the cardinal 
to let his adversary speak first. 

"Sire," said Montmorency, "my opinion is that we must 
not abandon an affair so well begun, and that your Majesty 
should omit no effort to support your army and your general 
in Italy. ' ' 

"And you, M. le Cardinal?" said the king. 

"As for me," said Charles de Guise, "I must ask M. 
de Connetable to excuse me, but my opinion is absolutely 
opposed to his. ' ' 

"That is no surprise to me, M. le Cardinal," answered 


Montmorency, bitterly. ' ' It would have been the first time 
we agreed, were it otherwise. So you think, monsieur, your 
brother ought to return?" 

"It would be, I believe, good policy to recall him." 

"Alone or with his army?" 

"With his army to the last man!" 

"And why so? Do you think there are not enough of 
bandits prowling already on the highways ? I happen to 
know there is a regular harvest -of them. ' ' 

"There are perhaps bandits enough prowling on the 
highways, M. le Connetable there is perhaps a regular 
harvest of them, as you say; but we have no harvest of 
brave soldiers and great captains." 

"You forget, M. le Cardinal, that we are in full peace, 
and, being in full peace, we can do without your sublime 
conquerors. ' ' 

"I beg your Majesty to ask M. le Connetable," said the 
cardinal, turning to the king, "if he believes seriously in 
the duration of peace." 

"Morbleuf if I believe in it," said the constable "a nice 
question that!" 

' ' Well, I am so far from believing in it, ' ' said the cardi- 
nal, "that I think if your Majesty does not wish to let the 
King of Spain have the glory of attacking you, you should 
at once attack the King of Spain. ' ' 

"In spite of the truce solemnly sworn?" cried the con- 
stable, with such ardor that one would have believed in his 
sincerity. "But do you forget, M. le Cardinal, that it is a 
duty to keep one's oath ? that the word of a king ought to 
be more inviolable than any other word, and that France has 
never been a recreant to her good faith, even when dealing 
with Turks and Saracens?" 

"But then, if this is so," asked the cardinal, "why has 
your nephew, M. de Chatillon, instead of remaining quiet 
in his government of Picardy, attempted to surprise and 
scale the walls of Douai, in which he would have succeeded 
but for an old woman passing, by chance, near the place 


where the ladders were planted, who gave the alarm to 
the sentinels?" 

"Why has my nephew done that?" said Montmorency, 
at once falling into the snare. "I am just going to tell 
you why he has done that." 

"We are listening," said the cardinal. 

Then, turning to the king, with a marked purpose in his 
accent, he said 

"Listen, Sire." 

"Oh, his Majesty knows it as well as I do, mordieu!" 
said the constable; "for though he appears entirely taken 
up with his loves, have the goodness to learn, M. le Car- 
dinal, that we do not leave him entirely ignorant of state 

"We are listening, M. le Connetable," returned the car- 
dinal, coldly; "you were about to tell the reason why M. 
1'Amiral made the attack on Douai." 

"The reason! I could give you ten instead of one, 

"Give them, M. le Connetable." 

"First," replied the latter, "the attempt made by Comte 
Megue, governor of Luxembourg, through the agency of his 
maitre d' hotel, who corrupted three soldiers of the garrison 
by a present of a thousand crowns in hand and promise of a 
pension of the same amount, for which they were to deliver 
up the city. ' ' 

"The city which my brother has so gloriously defended; 
it is true," said the cardinal, "we have heard of that at- 
tempt, which, like your nephew's, has happily failed. But 
this makes only one excuse, and you have promised us ten, 
M. le Connetable." 

"Oh, wait. Are you not yet aware that this Comte 
Megue suborned a Provengal soldier of the garrison of 
Marienbourg, who, in return for the large sum given him, 
engaged to poison the wells of the fortress, and that the 
enterprise only failed because Comte Megue did not think 
a single man sufficient for the job, and the others he tried 


to deal with discovered the conspiracy. You will not say 
the thing is false, M. le Cardinal, for the soldier was broken 
alive on the wheel. ' ' 

"That would hardly be a reason for convincing me. 
You have, during your lifetime, M. le Connetable, broken 
on the wheel and hanged not a small number of people 
whom I consider as innocent and as much martyrs as those 
whom the Eoman emperors named Nero, Commodus, and 
Domitian sent to die in their circuses. ' ' 

"Mordieu! M. le Cardinal, would you perchance deny 
this enterprise of Comte Megue on the wells of Marien- 

"On the contrary, M. le Connetable, I told you I ad- 
mitted it. But you promised us ten excuses for the enter- 
prise of your nephew, and we have only two so far. ' ' 

' ' You shall have them, mordieu ! you shall have them ! 
Are you ignorant, for example, that Comte Berlaimont, 
intendant of the finances of Flanders, made a plot with 
two Gascon soldiers and got them to pledge themselves, 
with the help of Sieur de Yeze, captain of a company of 
foot in the king's service, to deliver the city of Bordeaux 
to the King of Spain, provided they were seconded by five 
or six hundred men ? You just say no to this fresh plot of 
the Catholic king, and I shall answer that one of these two 
soldiers, arrested near Saint- Quentin by the governor of 
the place, confessed everything, and acknowledged that he 
had even received the reward promised in the presence 
of Antoine Perrenot, Bishop of Arras. Come now, M. le 
Cardinal, say no! mordieu, say no!" 

U I have not the slightest intention of doing so," replied 
the cardinal, smiling, "seeing that it is the truth beyond 
doubt, M. le Connetable, and I do not care to expose my 
soul to peril by such a lie. But this only makes three in- 
fractions of the treaty of Vaucelles by his Majesty the King 
of Spain, and you have promised us ten. ' ' 

"Oh, I can easily furnish you ten, or a dozen if you 
want them ! For instance, has not Maitre Jacques de Fleche, 


one of King Philip's best engineers, been caught sounding 
the fords of the Oise, and conducted to La Fere, where he 
confessed that Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, had 
ordered M. de Berlaimont to pay him money for drawing 
the plans of Montreuil, Roye, Doullens, Saint- Quentin, and 
Mezieres places the Spaniards want to seize in order to 
control Boulogne and Ardres and prevent the revictualling 
of Marienbourg?" 

"All this is perfectly correct, M. le Connetable, but we 
are not yet near the ten. ' ' 

' ' Eh, mordieu ! do we require ten in order to see that the 
truce has, in reality, been broken by the Spaniards, and that 
if my nephew, M. 1'Amiral, has made an attempt on Douai, 
he had a perfect right to do so ?" 

' ' And I have no intention of asking you to say anything 
further, M. le Connetable ; those four proofs are enough to 
show me that the truce has been broken by Philip II. Now, 
the truce being broken, not once, but four times, it is the 
King of Spain who violates his word by breaking the truce, 
and not the King of France who will violate his by recalling 
from Italy his army and general and preparing for war. ' ' 

The constable bit his white mustaches; the crafty spirit 
of his adversary had just made him confess the opposite of 
what he had meant to say. 

But "the cardinal had hardly ceased speaking, and the 
constable biting his mustaches, when the sound of a trumpet 
playing a foreign air was heard in the courtyard of the 
chateau of Saint- Germain. 

"Oh, oh!" said the king, "what mischievous page is 
that, lacerating my ears with an English air ? Go and find 
"out, M. de 1' Aubespine, and let the little rascal have a sound 
whipping for his merry pranks. ' ' 

M. de 1' Aubespine went out to execute the orders of 
the king. 

Five minutes after, he returned. 

"Sire," said he, "it is neither page, equerry, nor 
whipper-in who has played the air in question; it is an 


English, trumpeter accompanying a herald sent you by 
Queen Mary." 

Scarcely had M. de 1'Aubespine finished these words, 
when the trumpet sounded again, this time playing a 
Spanish air. 

"Ah!" said the king, "after the wife, the husband, it 
would seem. ' ' 

Then, with that majesty which all those old kings of 
France knew how to assume so well when the occasion 

"Messieurs," he said, "to the throne-room! Warn our 
officers, as I shall the court. Whatever be the message 
our cousin Mary and our cousin Philip may send us, it is 
necessary to do honor to their messengers. ' ' 



THE sounds from the English and Spanish trumpets 
had re-echoed, not only in the hall of council, but 
throughout the entire palace, being, as they were, 
a sort of double echo from the North and from the South. 

The king found, therefore, that the court was already 
pretty well informed of the condition of things; all the 
ladies were at the windows, and eyes were fixed curiously 
on the two heralds and their suite. At the council door, 
the constable was met by a young officer sent him by his 
nephew Coligny the same Coligny we saw entering the 
room of Charles V". on the evening of his abdication. 

The admiral was, as we have already said, governor of 
Picardy; he would therefore, in case of invasion, be the 
one first exposed to attack. 

"Ah, it is you, Th&igny !" ' said the constable, in a low 

1 This Theligny was no relation of the kinsman of Coligny of the same 
name killed in the massacre of Saint-Bartholomew. 


"Yes, monseigneur, " replied the young officer. 

"And you bring news of the admiral?" 

"Yes, monseigneur." 

"Have you seen or spoken to any one on the subject, 
so far?" 

' ' The news is for the king, monseigneur, ' ' answered the 
young officer; "but I have been directed to communicate 
it to you first." 

' ' Very well, ' ' said the constable ; ' ' follow me. ' ' 

And just as the Cardinal de Lorraine had led the Due 
de Nemours to the apartments of Catherine de Medicis, so 
the constable led M. de Theligny to those of Madame de 

But, in the meantime, the reception was being held. 

At the end of a quarter of an hour, the king having the 
queen on his right, all the great officers on the steps of 
the throne ; around him, seated in armchairs, Madame Mar- 
guerite and Madame Elisabeth of France, Mary Stuart, the 
Duchesse de Yalentinois, the four Marys; in fine, the entire 
brilliant court of the Valois the king gave orders for the 
English herald to be introduced. 

Long before he made his appearance, the jingling of his 
spurs and of those of the men-at-arms forming his escort 
was heard in the antechambers. At last he crossed the 
threshold, clad in the tabard with the English arms em- 
broidered on it, and advanced with his head covered, stop- 
ping within ten steps of the throne. There he uncovered, 
and, putting one knee to the ground, said in a loud 
voice : 

"Mary, Queen of England, Ireland, and France, to Henri, 
King of France, greeting ! Because you have given aid and 
comfort to the English Protestants, enemies of our person, 
religion and state, and because you have promised them 
succor an'd protection against the just prosecutions of which 
they are now the object, we, William Norry, declare war 
against you on land and sea, and as a sign of defiance, we 
throw here the glove of battle." 


And the herald flung at the feet of the king his iron 
gauntlet, which resounded harshly on the floor. 

"It is well," replied the king, without rising. "I accept 
this declaration of war; but I wish the whole world to know 
that I have kept the good faith due to our mutual good 
friendship ; and, since it is her pleasure to attack France for 
so unjust a cause, I hope, through the favor of God, that 
she will gain no more by her action than her predecessors 
have done when they have attacked mine. For that matter, 
I speak to you mildly and civilly, because it is a queen who 
sends you; if it were a king, I would speak to you in a 
different tone." 

And, turning to Mary Stuart 

"My gentle Queen of Scotland," he said, "as this war 
concerns you not less than me, and as you have quite as 
many rights to the crown of England as my sister has to that 
of France, if not more, pick up, I pray you, that glove, and 
make a gift to the brave Sir William Norry of the gold 
chain around your neck, which the Duchesse de Yalentinois 
will be good enough to replace by the chain of pearls she 
has on hers. I, in turn, shall replace in such manner that 
she shall not suffer too much loss thereby. Go! To pick 
up a woman's glove, a woman's hands are needed!" 

Mary Stuart rose, and, with all her exquisite grace, un- 
fastened the chain from her neck and flung it round that 
of the herald; then, with that lofty air that so well became 
her countenance 

"I pick up this glove," she said, "not only in the name 
of France, but also in the name of Scotland ! Herald, tell 
my sister Mary what I have said. ' ' 

The herald stood up, bent his head slightly, and, step- 
ping back to the left of the throne, said 

' ' It shall be done according to the desires of King Henri 
of France and Queen Mary of Scotland. ' ' 

"Introduce the herald of our brother Philip II.," said 
the king. 

The same jingling of spurs was heard, announcing the 


approach of the Spanish herald, who entered still more 
haughtily than had his colleague; and, all the time twist- 
ing his Castilian mustaches, he approached within ten steps 
of the king, and said, without bending the knee, contenting 
himself with a slight inclination of the head 

"Philip, by divine clemency, King of Castile, Leon, 
Granada, Navarre, Aragon, Naples, Sicily, Majorca, Sar- 
dinia, the isles, Indias, and lands of the ocean; Archduke 
of Austria; Duke of Burgundy, Lothier, Brabant, Lim- 
bourg, Luxembourg, and Guelders: Count of Flanders and 
Artois; Marquis of the Holy Empire; Seigneur of Fries- 
land, Salins, Malines, the cities and countries of Utrecht, 
Overyssel, and Groeningen; Sovereign in Asia and Africa; 
to you, Henri of France, we make known that because 
of the assault made on the city of Douai, and the pillage of 
the city of Sens, both having been by the orders and under 
the direction of your governor of Picardy, and because we 
regard the truce sworn between you and us at Vaucelles 
as broken, we declare war against you on land and sea ; as 
gage of which defiance, in the name of my said king, prince 
and lord, I, Guzman d'Avila, herald of Castile, Leon, Gra- 
nada, Navarre, and Aragon, fling here my glove of battle. ' ' 

And, ungloving his right hand, he flung the glove inso- 
lently at the feet of the king. 

Then the deeply tanned and manly face of Henri II. be- 
came pale, and in a somewhat altered tone he replied : 

"Our brother Philip II. anticipates us, and therefore we 
have some reason to reproach him ; but he would have done 
better, since he has so many personal grievances against us, 
to have made of this quarrel a personal quarrel. We would 
have very willingly answered for our acts face to face and 
body to body, and the Lord God would then have judged 
between us. Tell him, however, Don Guzman, that we ac- 
cept with the utmost confidence the war which he declares 
against us; but I should be far more pleased still, if he were 
to arrange a meeting between me and him instead of one be- 
tween our two armies. ' ' 


And as the constable touched his arm meaningly 

' ' And you will add, ' ' continued Henri, ' ' that when I made 
this proposal, my good friend, M. de Montmorency, touched 
my arm, because he - knows there is a prophecy that I shall 
die in a duel. Well, at the risk of the fulfilment of that 
prophecy, I persist in the proposal, although I have no 
doubt that this prediction will give sufficient confidence 
to my brother to induce him to accept. M. de Montmo- 
rency, I pray you, as Constable of France, to pick up the 
glove of Ring Philip." 

Then to the herald 

' ' Stay, my friend, ' ' he said, taking a bag placed behind 
him for the purpose, and full of gold, "it is far from here 
to Valladolid; and as you have come hither to bring us 
such good news, it is not fitting that you should spend 
your master's money or your own on the route. Take, 
therefore, these hundred crowns of gold to defray the ex- 
penses of your journey." 

' ' Sire, ' ' replied the herald, 4 ' my master and I belong to 
a country where gold grows, and we have only to stoop 
to pick it up." 

And, saluting the king, he took a step backward 

"Ah, proud as a Castilian!" murmured Henri. "M. de 
Montgomery, take that sack and make largess of what it 
contains through the window." 

" Montgomery took the sack, opened the window, and 
threw the gold to the lackeys in the court, who received 
it with joyous hurrahs. 

"Gentlemen," continued Henri, rising, "there is always 
high festival at the court of France when a neighboring 
sovereign declares war on its king; there shall be double 
festival this evening, since we have received declarations 
of war at the same time from a king and a queen." 

Then, turning to the two heralds who were standing, the 
one on his left, the other on his right 

"Sir William Norry, Don Guzman d'Avila," said the 
king, "seeing that you are the causes of the festival, you 


'are, as representing King Philip, my brother, and Queen 
Mary, my sister, invited to it of right." 

"Sire," whispered the constable to Henri, "would it 
please you to hear the fresh news from Picardy, brought 
from my nephew by a lieutenant of the dauphin's regiment 
named Theligny?" 

"Yes, indeed," said the king. "Bring him to me; he 
shall be welcome." 

Five minutes afterward, the young man was led into the 
chamber of arms, and, bowing respectfully before the king, 
waited until the latter should address him. 

"Well, monsieur," said the king, "what news do you 
bring of the health of M. 1'Amiral?" 

"As far as that goes, excellent, sire; never has M. 
1'Amiral been stronger." 

"Then may (rod keep him so, and all will be well! 
Where did you leave him?" 

"At La Fere, sire." 

"And what news did he charge you to transmit to me?" 

"Sire, he has charged me to tell your Majesty to prepare 
for a serious war. The enemy has assembled more than fifty 
thousand men, and M. 1'Amiral believes that all his preced- 
ing attempts have been only a false demonstration to conceal 
his real plans." 

"And what has the enemy been doing up to now?" 
asked the king. 

"The Duke of Savoy, who is commander- in-chief, " re- 
plied the young lieutenant, "has advanced as far as Grivet, 
accompanied by Count Mansfield, Count Egmont, the Duke 
of Aerschott, and the principal officers of his army, where 
the general rendezvous of the hostile forces was estab- 

"I have learned as much through the Due de Nevers, 
governor of Champagne," said the king; "he even added, 
in his despatches on the subject, that he believed Emmanuel 
Philibert aimed principally at Rocroy and Mezieres; and, 
believing Eocroy, which has been only lately fortified, 

(H)_Yol. 20 


was in bad condition to sustain a siege, I recommended tlie 
Due de fevers to see if it would not be better to abandon 
it. Since that time I have had no news of him. " 

"I bring some to your Majesty," said Theligny. "Sure 
of the strength of the place, M. de Nevers shut himself up 
in it, and, sheltered behind its walls, has so well received 
the enemy that after several skirmishes, in which he lost 
a few hundred men, he has forced him to retire across the 
ford of Houssu, between the village of Nismes and Haute- 
roche; from thence the enemy took his way by Chimay, 
Grlayon, and Montreuil-aux-Dames; passed by La Chapelle, 
which he pillaged, and Yervins, which he reduced to ashes; 
in fine, he has advanced as far as G-uise, and M. 1'Amiral 
has no doubt it is his intention to besiege that place, in 
which M. de Yasse has shut himself up. ' ' 

"What troops does the Duke of Savoy command?" 
asked the king. 

' ' Flemish, Spanish, and German troops, sire ; very nearly 
forty thousand foot and fifteen thousand horse. ' ' 

' ' And how many can M. de Chatillon and M. de Nevers 
dispose of?" 

"Sire, were they to unite all their forces, they could 
hardly dispose of eighteen thousand infantry, and from 
five to six thousand cavalry; without reckoning that, 
among the latter, are fifteen hundred or two thousand 
Englishmen, whom it would be necessary to distrust, in 
case of war with Queen Mary. ' ' 

"So that, considering the number of men we shall be 
forced to leave as garrisons in the cities, twelve or fourteen 
thousand men are the most we -shall be able to give you, my 
dear constable," said Henri, turning to Montmorency. 

"Well, be it so, sire; with the few you give me I shall 
do my best. I have heard that a famous general of antiq- 
uity, named Xenophon, had only ten thousand soldiers un- 
der his orders when he accomplished a magnificent retreat 
of a hundred and fifty leagues; and that Leonidas, King 
of Sparta, commanded at most a thousand men when he 


arrested for eight days, at Thermopylae, the army of King 
Xerxes, which was, however, far more numerous than that 
of the Duke of Savoy. ' ' 

"So you are not discouraged, my dear constable?" said 
the king. 

' ' Quite the contrary, sire ! And, mordieu ! I have never 
been so joyous and of such good hope. I only want to find 
a man who can give me some information as to the state 
of Saint-Quentin. " 

"Why so, constable?" asked the king. 

"Because with the keys of Saint-Quentin the gates of 
Paris are opened, sire; it is an old proverb. Do you know 
Saint-Quentin, M. de Theligny?" 

"No, monseigneur; but if I dared " 

"Dare then! dare, mordieu! the king permits you. " 

"Well, then, M. le Connetable, I have with me a kind 
of groom given me by M. 1'Amiral, who, if he wishes, can, 
I fancy, give you some information on the state of the 

"What! if he wishes!" cried the constable. "He shall 
wish, you may be certain. ' ' 

"Without doubt," said Theligny, "he will not dare to 
refuse answering the questions of M. le Connetable, only, 
as he is a very shrewd rascal, he may answer them after his 
own fashion." 

"After his own fashion? You'll find his own fashion 
will be after mine, M. le Lieutenant." 

"Ah! that is just the point on which I would beg you 
not to make any mistake. He will answer after his own 
fashion, and not after yours; seeing that as you, mon- 
seigneur, do not know Saint-Quentin, you cannot tell 
whether he is speaking the truth or not." 

"If he does not speak the truth, I shall have him 
hanged. ' ' 

' ' Yes ; it is a means of punishing him, but not of utiliz- 
ing him. Believe me, M. le Connetable, he is an adroit, 
cunning fellow, very brave when he wishes 


"How, when he wishes? He is not brave at all times, 
then?" interrupted Montmorency. 

"He is brave when others are looking on, and when they 
are not looking on, if it is his interest to fight. One can't 
expect anything more of an adventurer. ' ' 

"My good constable," said the king, "he who wishes 
the end wishes the means. This man may render us some 
services. M. de Theligny knows him; let M. de Theligny 
conduct the inquiry. ' ' 

"Be it so," said the constable; "but I assure you, sire, 
I have a way of talking to people 

"Yes, monseigneur, " replied The'ligny, smiling, "we 
know your way, and it has its good side; but with Master 
Yvonnet, it would have the effect of sending him to the side 
of the enemy on the first opportunity; and he could render 
them all the services against us which he can now render us 
against them. ' ' 

"To the side of the enemy, morbleu! to the side of the 
enemy, sacrebleu!" shouted the constable. "Why, in that 
case, he ought to be hanged at once. He is a cutthroat, a 
bandit, a traitor then, this groom of yours, M. de Theligny. ' ' 

"He is an adventurer quite simply, monseigneur." 

"Oh, oh! and my nephew makes use of such rascals ?" 

"War is war, monseigneur," rejoined Theligny, laughing. 

Then, turning to the king 

' ' I place my poor Yvonnet under the safeguard of your 
Majesty, and ask that, whatever he may say or do, I may 
bring him back with me as safe and sound as I have 
brought him hither." 

"You have my word," said the king; "go and fetch 
your groom." 

' ' If the king permit, ' ' replied Theligny, ' ' I shall content 
myself with making a sign to him, and he will come up." 
' "Do so." 

Theligny opened a window looking on the park, and 
beckoned to some one. 

Five minutes afterward, Master Yvonnet appeared at the 


threshold of the door, clad in the same cuirass of buffalo, 
the same maroon- velvet jacket, the same boots, in which we 
have already presented him to the reader. 

He held in his hand the same cap adorned with the same 

Only everything was two years older than then. A cop- 
per chain, which was once gilt, was hanging from his neck 
and playing sportively on his breast. 

The young man only needed a glance to show him with 
whom he had to deal, and doubtless he recognized M. le 
Connetable or the king, or perhaps both, for he kept him- 
self respectfully near the door. 

"Come forward, Yvonnet; come forward, my friend," 
said the lieutenant, "and know you are in presence of his 
Majesty Henri II. and of M. le Connetable, who, on ac- 
count of the way~I have extolled your merits, have desired 
to see you. ' ' 

To the great stupefaction of the constable, Master Yvon- 
net did not appear the least astonished in the world at his 
merits gaining him such an honor. 

"I thank you, lieutenant," said Yvonnet, taking three 
steps and then halting, half through distrust, half through 
respect; "my merits, small though they be, are at the feet 
of his Majesty and at the service of M. le Connetable. ' ' 

The king noticed the difference the young man placed 
between the homage rendered to the royal majesty and the 
obedience offered to M. de Montmorency. 

Without doubt, this difference also struck the constable. 

"All right!" he said; "no phrases, my fine fellow! An- 
swer squarely, or if not " 

Yvonnet darted a glance at Theligny which meant, "Do 
I run any danger, or is it an honor they are doing me ?" 

But, strong in the king's promise, Theligny took hold of 
the interrogatory. 

"My dear Yvonnet, the king knows you are a gallant 
cavalier," he said; "very much admired by the ladies, and 
that you devote to your toilet all the revenues your intelli- 


gence and courage can procure. Now, as the king desires 
to put your intelligence to the test at once, and your cour- 
age later on, he charges me to offer you ten golden crowns 
if you consent to give him, as well as to M. le Conneta- 
ble, some positive information respecting the city of Saint- 

"Would you have the goodness to tell the king, lieuten- 
ant, that I am a member of an association of honest persons 
who have all sworn to distribute among the members half 
their several gains, whether acquired by dint of intelligence 
or of force ; so that of the ten crowns offered me, five would 
belong to me only, the other five being the property of the 
association. ' ' 

"And what hinders you from keeping the ten, idiot," 
retorted the constable, ' ' and saying nothing of the good for- 
tune that falls to your share ?" 

"My word, M. le Connetable. We are too small people, 
we are, to venture on breaking it. ' ' 

"Sire," said the constable, "I distrust strongly those 
people who do things only for money. ' ' 

Yvonnet bent low before the king. 

"I ask your Majesty's leave to say two words. " 

"Well, upon my word! This rascal /has ' 

"Constable," said the king, "I beg you 

Then smiling 

' ' Speak, my friend, ' ' said he to Yvonnet. 

The constable shrugged his shoulders, took three steps 
backward, and began to walk backward and forward, like 
a man who does not care to take part in the conversation. 

"Sire," said Yvonnet, with a respect and grace that 
would have done honor to a refined coiirtier, "I beg your 
Majesty to remember that I have not fixed any price on 
the services which I can and ought to render to you as your 
humble and obedient subject; it was my lieutenant, M. de 
Theligny, who spoke of ten crowns of -gold. Your Majesty 
being unaware most certainly of the association existing be- 
tween me and my eight comrades, all equally in the service 


of M. 1'Amiral, I thought it my duty to mention that, while 
thinking you were .giving me ten crowns of gold, you were 
giving me five only, the other five being for the association. 
Now that your Majesty deigns to question me, I am ready 
to answer, and that without there being any question of five 
or ten or twenty crowns of gold; but purely and simply on 
account of the respect, obedience, and devotion I owe my 

And the adventurer bowed before the king with as much 
dignity as if he had been the ambassador of an Italian prince 
or a count of the Holy Empire. 

"Nothing could be better!" said the king; "you are 
quite right, Master Yvonnet. Let us not reckon before- 
hand and you will find yourself not the worse for it." 

Yvonnet smiled in a fashion which meant, "Oh, I know 
with whom I am dealing. ' ' 

But as all these little delays irritated the impatient tem- 
per of the constable, he turned again to the young man, 
and, tapping the floor with his foot, said 

"Look here now, as all your conditions are arranged, 
will you be so kind as to tell me what you know of Saint- 
Quentin, you scoundrel?" 

Yvonnet looked at the constable, and, with a roguish 
expression belonging only to the Parisian, said 

" Saint- Quentin, monseigneur? Saint- Quentin is a city 
situated on the river Somme, six leagues from Fe~re, thirteen 
from Laon, and thirty-four from Paris; it has twenty thou- 
sand inhabitants, a corporation composed of twenty -five mu- 
nicipal officers namely, a mayor in office, a mayor who has 
just held office, eleven aldermen, and twelve councillors; 
these magistrates elect and appoint their own successors, 
which they select among the bourgeois, in virtue of a de- 
cree of the parliament dated the 16th of December, 1335, 
and of a charter of King Charles VI. dated 1412." 

"Ta, ta, ta!" cried the constable, "what the devil is that 
imp of misfortune dinning us with ? I ask you what you 
know of Saint-Quentin, beast?" 


"Well, I have told you what I know, and I can guaran- 
tee to you the correctness of my information ; I have it from 
my friend Maldent, who is a native of Noyon, and spent 
three years in Saint- Quentin as attorney's clerk." 

"Hold, sire," said the constable, "believe me, we shall 
get nothing out of this knave, until we have him on a good 
wooden horse, with four balls of twelve pounds tied to 
each leg." 

Y vonnet remained impassive. 

"I am not precisely of your opinion, constable. I be- 
lieve we shall get nothing out of him, as long as we try 
to force him to speak; but I believe we shall learn all we 
want to know by leaving him to M. de Theligny. If he 
knows what he has told us just the things he could not 
be expected to know you may be sure he knows some- 
thing else besides. Is it not true, Master Yvonnet, that you 
have studied not only the population, geography, and con- 
stitution of the city of Saint- Quentin, but that you are also 
acquainted with the condition of its ramparts and the dispo- 
sition of its inhabitants?" 

' ' Should my lieutenant wish to interrogate me, or should 
the king do me the honor to address me the questions to 
which he desires an answer, I shall do my best to satisfy 
my lieutenant and to obey the king. ' ' 

' ' The rascal is all honey now ! ' ' murmured the constable. 

"Come now, my dear Yvonnet, " said Theligny, "prove 
to his Majesty that I have not deceived him when I praised 
your intelligence so highly, and describe to him, as well as 
to M. le Connetable, the condition of the ramparts at the 
present moment." 

Yvonnet shook his head. 

' ' Would not one imagine that the knave knows all about 
it!" growled the constable. 

"Sire," replied Yvonnet, without paying any attention 
to the sneer of Montmorency, "I have the honor to tell your 
Majesty that the city of Saint- Quentin, ignorant that it runs 
any danger whatever, and consequently not having pre- 


pared any means of defence, is hardly secure from a sudden 
assault. ' ' 

"But then," asked the king, "has it not ramparts?" 

"Yes, undoubtedly," answered Yvonnet "ramparts 
strengthened by round and square towers connected by 
curtains with two bastions, one of which defends the sub- 
urb of 1'Isle; but the boulevard has not even parapets, and 
is protected only by a fosse dug in front. Its ground-plan, 
which does not rise above the surrounding lands, is com- 
manded in many places by hills in the neighborhood, and 
even by houses situated on the border of the exterior fosse ; 
and on the right of the Guise highway and the gate of 1'Isle, 
the old wall it is the name of the rampart at that point 
is so low that a man, be he ever so inactive, could easily 
scale it." 

"But, you scoundrel!" cried the constable, "if you are 
an engineer, you should say so at once ! ' ' 

"I am not an engineer, M. le Connetable. " 

"What are you, then?" 

Yvonnet lowered his eyes with affected modesty. 

"Yvonnet is in love, monseigneur, " said Theligny; "and 
to reach the fair enslaver who dwells in the Faubourg d'Isle, 
he has been obliged to study the strong and weak points of 
the walls. ' ' 

"Ah," murmured the constable, "a nice reason that, 

"Well, then, continue," said the king, "and I shall give 
you a fine gold cross as a present for your mistress the first 
time you see her on your return. ' ' 

' ' And never cross of gold will have shone on a lovelier 
neck than Grudule's. I may say so with confidence, 
sire. ' ' 

"And now this base villain is actually making the por- 
trait of his mistress for us!" said the constable. 

' ' And why not, if she is pretty, my cousin ? You shall 
have the cross, Yvonnet. ' ' 

"Thanks, sire." 


"And now is there a garrison, at least, in the city of 

"No, M. le Connetable. " 

"No!" cried Montmorency, "and how is that?" 

"Because the city is, by its charter, exempt from mili- 
tary occupation, and its defence is confided to the bourgeois 
themselves a right they hold to extremely. ' ' 

' ' The bourgeoisie and their rights indeed ! Sire, believe 
me, things can never go well as long as the bourgeoisie and 
the communes claim rights nobody knows of what kind, de- 
rived from nobody knows whom ! ' ' 

' ' From whom? I am going to tell you, my cousin, from 
the kings, my predecessors." 

"Well, if your Majesty will only intrust me with the 
task of taking back all these rights from the bourgeoisie, 
you may rely on it, the things shall be done quickly 
enough. ' ' 

"We shall take thought of this later on, my dear con- 
stable. The Spaniards require all our attention at present. 
We should have a good garrison in Saint-Quentin." 

' ' The admiral was negotiating for that very purpose at 
the time I left," said Theligny. 

"And he must have succeeded by this time," said 
Yvonnet, "considering that he had Maitre Jean Pauquet 
on his side." 

"Who is Maitre Jean Pauquet?" demanded the^king. 

"Gudule's uncle, sire," replied Yvonnet, with an accent 
that was not exempt from a certain imbecility. 

"What, you knave!" cried the constable, "do you make 
love to a magistrate's niece?" 

"Jean Pauquet is not a magistrate, M. le Connetable," 
replied Yvonnet. 

"And what, then, is this Jean Pauquet of 3^ours?" 

' ' The syndic of all the weavers. ' ' 

"Jesus!" exclaimed Montmorency, "what in the world 
are we coming to! Compelled to negotiate with a syndic 
of weavers, when it is the king's good pleasure to place 


a garrison in one of his cities. You will tell your Jean 
Pauquet that I intend to have him hanged if he does not 
open, not only the gates of the city, but the doors of the 
houses as well, to whatever men-at-arms I choose to send 

"I think it would be quite as well if you let M. 1'Amiral 
manage the business, M. le Connetable," said Yvonnet, 
shaking his head; "he knows better than you, monseigneur, 
the way to talk to people like Jean Pauquet. ' ' 

' ' I really think you are arguing with me, ' ' said Mont- 
morency, with a threatening gesture. 

"Cousin, Cousin," said Henri, "let us, pray, finish the 
business we have begun with this brave fellow. You will 
have it in your power to judge of the truth of his state- 
ments, since the army will be under your command, and 
you are to join it as soon as possible. 1 ' 

"Oh!" said Montmorency, lt not later than to-morrow! 
I am in a hurry to bring all these bourgeois to their senses. 
A syndic of weavers, mordieu ! a fine personage to negotiate 
with an admiral! Peuh!" 

And he went to the embrasure of one of the windows 
and began gnawing his nails. 

"Now," asked the king, "are the approaches to the city 

"On three sides, yes, sire; on the Faubourg d'Isle side, 
the Kemicourt side, and the chapel of Epargnemaille side; 
but on the Tourival side it is necessary to cross the Gros- 
nard marshes, which are full of places where you have no 
chance once you sink. ' ' 

The constable had approached to listen to this detail, 
which interested him. 

"In case of need, would you undertake," he said, "to 
guide across the rnarsh a body of troops that could enter 
or leave the city?" 

"Doubtless; but I have already told M. le Connetable 
that Mai dent, one of our associates, would do his business 
better, having lived three years in Saint- Quentin, while 


I have gone there only at night, and then by the speediest 
route. ' ' 

"And why speediest?" 

"Because when I am alone at night, I am afraid." 

"How!" cried Montmorency, "you are afraid?" 

' ' Certainly, I am afraid. ' ' 

"And you confess it, you rascal?" 

"Why not, since it is true?" 

"And what are you afraid of?" 

"I am afraid of the will-o'-the-wisps, the ghosts, and the 
loups-garoux. " 

The constable burst out laughing. 

"Ah, you are afraid of the will-o'-the-wisps, the ghosts, 
and the loups-garoux?" 

"Oh, yes, I am horribly nervous!" 

And the young man shivered. 

"Ah, my dear Theligny," said Montmorency, "I com- 
pliment you on your squire! I am warned; I don't care 
to have him for a night guide." 

' ' In fact, it would be better to employ me by day. ' ' 

"And leave you the night to see your Grudule, eh?" 

"You see, monseigneur, that my visits have not been 
useless, and the king thinks as much, since he has gra- 
ciously promised me a cross. ' ' 

"M. de Montmorency, let forty gold crowns be given to 
this young man for the excellent information he has afforded 
us and the service he has offered to render. You will add 
ten crowns besides to buy a cross for Mademoiselle Gudule. ' ' 

The constable shrugged his shoulders. 

"Forty crowns!" he grumbled; " forty lashes of a whip ! 
forty strokes of a cane! forty blows of the butt- end of a 
halberd on his shoulders!" 

"You hear me, cousin; my word is pledged. Do not 
make me break my word." 

Then to Theligny 

"M. de Theligny," continued the king, "the constable 
will give orders to have you supplied with horses from my 


stables at the Louvre and Compiegne, so that you may 
march as quickly as possible. Do not be afraid of laming 
them, and try to reach La Fere before to-morrow. M. de 
Chatillon cannot be warned too soon that war is declared. 
A good journey, monsieur, and good luck!" 

The lieutenant and his squire saluted the king respect- 
fully and followed the constable. 

Ten minutes afterward they were galloping on the road 
from Paris, and the constable went back to the king, who 
had not left his cabinet. 


HENRI II. was waiting for the constable, in order to 
give orders of the highest importance without any 

M. de Montgomery, who had, some years before, led 
French troops to the aid of the regent of Scotland, was 
sent to Edinburgh to ask that, in pursuance of the treaty 
signed between that kingdom and France, the Scotch should 
declare war on England, and that the lords composing the 
council of the regency should send to France ambassadors 
empowered to conclude the marriage between the young 
Queen Mary and the dauphin. 

At the same time an instrument was drawn up with the 
consent of the Guises, by which Mary Stuart transmitted 
to the King of France her realm of Scotland and all the 
rights she had or might have over that of England, in case 
she died without male heir. 

As soon as the marriage was celebrated, Mary Stuart 
was to take the title of Queen of France, Scotland, and 
England. Meanwhile, the triple arms of France, Scotland, 


and England were engraved on tlie plate of the young 

In the evening, as the king had said, there was a splen- 
did fete in the chateau of Saint- Germain, and the two 
heralds on their return to their respective princes might 
tell in what joyous fashion declarations of war were received 
at the court of France. 

But before the first window of the chateau was illumi- 
nated, two cavaliers, mounted on magnificent steeds, were 
galloping out of the courts of the Louvre, and, after gain- 
ing the Barriere de la Villette, dashed along the La Fere 

At Louvres, they stopped a moment to breathe their 
horses, which they changed at Compiegne, as had been 
agreed on; after which, in spite of the advanced hour of 
the night and their want of rest, they resumed their journey 
and started at a gallop for La F&re, which they entered at 
eight in the morning. 

Nothing fresh had occurred since the departure of 
Theligny and Yvonnet. 

Short as was the time the latter had spent at Paris, he 
had found an opportunity to renew his wardrobe at the shop 
of a ready-made clothier of his acquaintance, who did busi- 
ness in the Eue Pretres Saint-Germain 1'Auxerrois. The 
jacket and maroon breeches had then given place to doublet 
and hose of green velvet embroidered with gold, and a 
cherry-colored cap adorned with a white plume. A sash 
of the same color as the cap was wrapped round him, with 
the ends stuffed into boots that were almost irreproachable, 
armed with gigantic copper spurs. If his new garb was not 
quite fresh, it had at least been so little worn and by so 
careful an owner that only persons of very bad taste would 
make any uncalled for remarks on it or perceive that it 
came from a ready-made outfitter's, and not from a tailor's 
workshop. As to the chain, Yvonnet concluded, after deep 
thought, it had still enough gilding on it to deceive those 
looking at it from a distance of a few yards. 


It was his lookout to see that they had no nearer 

Let us hasten to add that the gold cross had been con- 
scientiously purchased; only no one ever knew whether 
Yvonnet had employed equally conscientiously the whole 
of the ten crowns given him by Henri II. for that purpose, 
in making the purchase for the niece of Jean Pauquet. 

Our belief is that Yvonnet had clipped enough from that 
cross to provide himself, not only with the doublet and 
green velvet breeches, the cherry -colored cap and white 
plume, the buffalo- leather boots and copper spurs, but also 
with an elegant cuirass placed in a portmanteau on the croup 
of his horse, and which rattled in quite a warlike fashion 
with every motion of the horse. 

But it must be said that, as all this had for aim to de- 
fend or adorn his person, and as his person belonged to 
Mademoiselle Gudule, the fact that Yvonnet thus used the 
clippings of his mistress's cross would by no means show 
that the money of King Henri II. had been turned from its 

For that matter, he no sooner cleared the gate of La Fere 
than he was able to judge of the effect produced by his new 
outfit. Franz and Heinrich Scharfenstein were, in their 
capacity as purveyors of the association, busy leading to 
the camp an ox they had just acquired; and with that 
instinct of self-preservation which makes animals object 
to being butchered, the ox was refusing to proceed as far 
as in him lay; for Heinrich Scharfenstein was dragging him 
by a horn, while Franz was pushing him behind. 

At the noise of the horse's hoofs on the pavement, Hein- 
rich raised his head, and recognizing our squire 

"Oh, Franz!" he cried, "only look at Meinherr Yvonnet; 
isn't he beautiful?" 

And in his admiration, he let go the horn of the ox, 
which, profiting by his liberty, swung round, and would 
have regained his stall, if Franz, who, as we have said, was 
stationed in the neighborhood of the tail, had not seized 


that member, and, stiffening all' his sinews, brought the 
animal to a sudden stand by his herculean strength. 

Yvonnet sent him a protecting salute with his hand, and 
passed on. 

They arrived at Coligny's quarters. 

The young lieutenant was recognized, and entered the 
cabinet of the admiral at once, followed by Yvonnet, who, 
with his habitual tact and in spite of the change wrought 
in his exterior, remained respectfully at the door. 

M. de Chatillon, leaning over one of those imperfect 
maps made at that period, was trying to complete it by the 
information a man in front of him, with cunning features, 
pointed nose, and intelligent eyes, was giving him. 

This man was our friend the Picard Maldent, who, as 
Yvonnet had said, having been an attorney's clerk in Saint- 
Quentin for three years, knew the city arid its environs as 
well as his writing-desk. 

Coligny, at the noise made by Theligny on entering, 
raised his head, and recognized his messenger. 

Maldent gently turned his eyes toward the door, and 
recognized Yvonnet. 

The admiral offered his hand to Theligny; Maldent 
exchanged a look with Yvonnet, who drew the strings 
of the upper orifice of a purse from his pocket to indicate 
that his journey had not been wholly unprofitable. 

Theligny gave an account to Coligny in a few words of 
his interview with the king and M. le Connetable, and 
handed to the governor of Picardy the letters of his uncle. 

"Yes," said Coligny, reading, "my opinion has been the 
same as his: Saint- Quentin is, in fact, the city to be guarded 
above all. So your company, my dear Theligny, has gone 
there yesterday. You will join to-day even, and announce 
my speedy arrival. ' ' 

And, absorbed in the information given him by Maldent, 
he bent anew over the map, and continued his annotations. 

Theligny knew the admiral a man of deep and serious 
thought, who must be let do what he was doing; and as, 


according to all probability, when his notes were finished, 
Coligny would have further orders to give him with respect 
to Saint- Quen tin, the lieutenant approached Yvonnet. 

"Go and wait for me in the camp," he whispered, "I will 
take you up on my way, when I have received the final in- 
structions of M. 1'Amiral. " 

Yvonnet bowed silently and went out. He found his 
horse at the door, and in an instant was outside the city. 

The camp of Coligny, placed first at Pierrepont near 
Marie, had been afterward transported near La Fere. Too 
weak to hold his ground in an open country with the fifteen 
or eighteen hundred men he commanded, the admiral, fear- 
ing a surprise, had gained the neighborhood of a fortified 
city, believing that, small as his army was, it could make 
a stand behind good walls. 

The line of the camp passed, Yvonnet stood up on his 
spurs to try if he could recognize any of his companions, 
and find out where they had fixed their quarters. 

Soon his gaze was attracted by a group, in the middle 
of which was a man who looked like Procope, seated on 
a stone and writing on one knee. 

Procope had utilized his clerical knowledge; from the 
moment it became certain that the enemy would be soon en- 
countered, he was busy drawing up wills at five sous each. 

Yvonnet understood that the quondam usher was like 
M. de Coligny, and did not fancy being disturbed in his 
grave occupation. 

He cast another look around him, and perceived Franz 
and Heinrich Scharfenstein, who, having given up the de- 
sign of leading their ox to the camp, had tied its legs to- 
gether, and were carrying it thither, with the help of the 
pole of a carriage, the extremities of which rested on each 
of their shoulders. 

A man who was no other than Pilletrousse was making 
signs to them at the door of a tent in rather good condition. 

Yvonnet recognized the domicile in which he had the 
right to a ninth part, and in a few seconds was beside Pil- 


letrousse, who, before giving any sign of welcome to his 
companion, walked round him once, then twice, then for 
the third time, Yvonrtet, like the cavalier of an equestrian 
statue, looking on with a smile of satisfaction as his com- 
panion accomplished this circumambulation. 

After the third turn, Pilletrousse halted, and with a 
clacking of the tongue to denote his admiration 

"Peste!" said he, "that is a pretty horse, and well worth 
forty gold crowns. Where the devil did you steal it ?" 

"Hush!" said Yvonnet, "speak with respect of the ani- 
mal; he comes from his Majesty's stables, and only belongs 
to me as a loan. ' ' 

"That's rather annoying," said Pilletrousse. 

"And why so?" 

"Because I had a purchaser. " 

"Ah!" returned Yvonnet, "and who was your pur- 

"I," said a voice behind Yvonnet. 

Yvonnet turned round and cast a quick glance upon the 
person presenting himself with this haughty monosyllable, 
which was to make the success of the tragedy of "Medea," 
a hundred years later. 

The bidder for the horse was a young man of from 
twenty-three to twenty-four years, half armed, half un- 
armed, as was the fashion with men of war when in cam]). 

Yvonnet needed only to let his eyes fall on those square 
shoulders, on that head framed in a red beard and red hair, 
on those clear blue eyes full of obstinacy and ferocity, to 
recognize the speaker. 

"You have just heard my answer," he replied. "The 
horse, in reality, belongs to his Majesty the King of France, 
who has had the goodness to lend it to me for my return to 
the camp; if he claims it, I must of course give it back 
to him; if he leaves it with me, it is at your disposal, the 
price, it is unnecessary to say, being discussed and arranged 
beforehand between us. ' ' 

"I admit the justice of what you say," replied the gen- 


tleman; "keep it for me, then. I am rich, and disposed to 
be liberal." 

Yvonnet saluted. 

"Besides," continued the gentleman, "it is not the 
only affair concerning which I should wish to treat with 

Yvonnet and Pilletrousse saluted together. 

"What is the number of your band ?" 

"Of our troop, you mean, monsieur," retorted Yvonnet, 
a little hurt by the epithet. 

"Of your troop, if you like it better. 11 

"Unless in my absence some of my comrades have been 
unfortunate, 1 ' answered Yvonnet, with a questioning glance 
at Pilletrousse, "there ought to be nine." 

A look of Pilletrousse reassured Yvonnet, even suppos- 
ing that he was really anxious on the subject. 

"And all brave ?" asked the gentleman. 

Yvonnet smiled; Pilletrousse shrugged his shoulders. 

"The fact is, you have a pretty sample there," said the 
gentleman, pointing to Franz and Heinrich, "if these two 
are members of your troop." 

"They are," replied Pilletrousse, laconically. 

"Then we can treat " 

"Pardon," said Yvonnet; "but we belong to M. 

"Except on two days of the week, when we can work 
on our own account," observed Pilletrousse. "Procope, 
foreseeing the two cases, introduced these clauses into the 
agreement: first, when we have some enterprise to under- 
take on our own behalf; second, when some honorable gen- 
tleman makes us a proposal of the kind the gentleman here 
present seems disposed to make. ' ' 

"I only want you for a single day or for a single night; 
so nothing could be better. Now, in case of need, where 
shall I find you ?" 

"At Saint- Quentin, probably," said Yvonnet; "I know 
that I shall be there in person this very day. ' ' 


"And two of us," continued Procope, "Lactance and 
Malemort, are there already. As to the rest of the troop 

"As to the rest of the troop," interrupted Yvonnet, 
"they are sure to follow us there, as, from what I heard 
M. 1'Amiral say, he will be there himself in two or three 

"Well," said the gentleman, "at Saint- Quentin, my 
braves ! ' ' 

' ' At Saint- Quentin, , mon sieur. ' ' 

The latter made a slight motion of the head and retired. 

Yvonnet followed him with his eyes until he was lost in 
the crowd; then, calling a vagabond who attended to the 
wants of the associates, and received therefor his temporal 
and spiritual nourishment, he threw him the reins of his 

The first intention of Yvonnet had been to approach Pil- 
letrousse, and make him a confidant of his reminiscences in 
connection with the unknown; but, doubtless considering 
him of too material an organization for the reception of a 
secret of such importance, he drove back the words which 
were already on the tip of his tongue, and appeared to be 
giving his attention wholly to the work Franz and Heinrich 
were accomplishing. 

Heinrich and Franz, after having, as we have said, with 
the help of the carriage-pole, which they had passed between 
the four legs, brought their recalcitrant ox up to the middle 
of the camp even, had deposited him in front of their tent. 

Then Heinrich entered the tent to fetch his mace, which 
he had some difficulty in finding, Fracasso, seized with a fit 
of poetic inspiration, having thrown himself on a mattress, 
in order to dream at his ease, and having made of this mace 
a pillow to support his head. 

This mace, simple in form and humble in material, was 
merely a ball twelve pounds in weight fitted to an iron bar; 
it was, with a gigantic two-handed sword, the usual weapon 
of the two Scharfensteins. 

Heinrich at last found it, and, in spite of the groans of 


Fracasso, whom he came on in the full fire of composition, 
he dragged it from under his head, and returned to join 
Franz, who was waiting for him. 

Hardly had Franz untied the forelegs of the ox, when 
the animal made a sudden effort and half rose. This was 
Heinrich's opportunity; he raised the iron mace until, bend- 
ing backward, it touched his loins, and, with all his strength, 
struck it between the two horns of the ox. 

The animal, which had begun to bellow, stopped, and 
fell as if thunderstruck. 

Pilletrousse, who, with naming eyes and like a dog in 
leash, was only awaiting the moment, rushed upon the 
prostrate animal and opened the artery of the neck. After 
which, he clove him from the lower lip to the opposite 
extremity, and proceeded to cut him up. 

Pilletrousse was the butcher of the association; Heinrich 
and Franz, the purveyors, bought and killed the animal, 
whatever it might be. Pilletrousse flayed it, divided it, 
and laid apart the best pieces for the association ; in a sort 
of stall at some distance from the common tent, adorned 
with all the art of which he was a master, the different 
pieces of which he wished to get rid. Now, Pilletrousse 
was so adroit a carver, and so clever a merchant, that it 
rarely happened but, during the two or three days of the 
sale, he drew from this part of the animal a few crowns 
more than it cost. 

All this was to the profit of the association, which, as 
may be seen, could not fare badly as long as it was seconded 
by each of its members as it was by such of its members as 
we have passed in review. 

The cutting up was over, and the public sale was com- ' 
mencing, when a cavalier made his appearance in the midst 
of the crowd which thronged around the stall of Maitre 
Pilletrousse, and which was buying each according to his 
means everything from the fillet to the tripes. 

This cavalier was Theligny, who, having been furnished 
with letters from the admiral for the mayor, the governor 


of the city, and Jean Pauquet, syndic of the weavers, was 
come in search of his squire Yvonnet. 

He also brought news that as soon as M. de Coligny had 
assembled the troops expected by him, and had spoken with 
his uncle, M. le Connetable, he would set out with live or 
six hundred men for Saint- Quentin. 

Maldent, Procope, Fracasso, Pilletrousse, and the two 
Scharfensteins would form part of the garrison, and would 
join Malemort and Lactance in the city, who were there 
already, and -Yvonnet, who, as he would start with M. de 
Theligny, would be there in two or three hours. 

The adieus were short, Fracasso not having yet finished 
his sonnet, and seeking a rhyme for the verb perdre, which 
he could not find; the two Scharfensteins, while very fond 
of Yvonnet, being of a very undemonstrative nature; and, 
in fine, Pilletrousse contenting himself with saying to the 
young man, with a grasp of the hand, so busy was he with 
his sale 

"Try to keep the horse!" 



AS YVONNET had said to M. le Connetable, it is six 
leagues from La Fere to Saint- Quentin. 
The horses had already made a long journey the 
night before, and that without any other halt than an hour 
spent at Noyon. 

They had now had a rest of two hours, it is true; still, 
as there was no occasion to hurry, except the desire of 
Yvonnet to see Ghidule again, they spent_nearly three hours 
in making the six leagues that separated them from the 
term of their ride. 

At last, after clearing the exterior boulevard, after leav- 
ing on the right the Guise highway, which bifurcates a 


hundred yards from the old wall, after, making themselves 
known at the gate and plunging under the vault beneath 
the rampart, the two cavaliers found themselves in the 
Faubourg d'Isle. 

"Monsieur, will you be kind enough to give me leave 
for ten minutes," asked Yvonnet, "or would you like, by 
turning aside a few steps, to get some news of what is 
passing in the city?" 

"Ah, ah!" laughed Theligny, "it would appear we are 
in the neighborhood of Mademoiselle Gudule's dwelling?" 

' ' You are right, monsieur, ' ' said Yvonnet. 

"Is there any indiscretion in ?" asked Theligny. 

"Not the least in the world, " answered Yvonnet. "In 
the daytime, I am a mere acquaintance of Mademoiselle 
Grudule, exchanging a word and a salute with her. It has 
always been my principle not to do anything to injure the 
future prospects of fair young girls. ' ' 

And turning to the right, he advanced into a little lane, 
bordered on one side by a long garden wall, and on the 
other by several houses, one of which was pierced by a 
window entirely framed in creeping plants. 

Rising on his spurs, Yvonnet reached exactly to the 
window, beneath which stood a pillar, calculated to give 
pedestrians the same advantage, for love or business, which 
Yvonnet derived from being on horseback. 

The moment he arrived, the window was opened as if by 
magic, and a charming face, all rosy with delight, appeared 
in the midst of the flowers. 

"Ah, it is you, Gudule!" said Yvonnet; "how did you 
guess my arrival ?" 

"I did not guess it; I was at my other window that looks 
upon the road to La Fere. I saw two horsemen in the dis- 
tance, and although it never occurred to me that you might 
be one of them, I could not keep my eyes off these travel- 
lers. When you came to a certain point I recognized you. 
Then I ran here, all trembling with fear, for I dreaded 
you might pass without stopping first, because you were 


not alone, and next, because you are so handsome I feared 
you might have reached such fortune that you would think 
of me no longer. ' ' 

"The person I have the honor to accompany, my dear 
Gudule, and who has given me permission to converse 
with yon a moment, is M. de Theligny, my lieutenant; he 
will soon have some questions to put to you, as well as I, 
on the state of the city." 

Gudule cast a timid glance upon the lieutenant, who 
made a gentle inclination to her, to which the young girl 
replied by a "God preserve you, monseigneur!" uttered 
with much emotion. 

"As to the costume in which you see me, Gudule," con- 
tinued Yvonnet, "it is the result of the king's liberality, 
who has even, on learning that I had the happiness to know 
you, deigned to charge me to present you, in his name, with 
this fine gold cross." 

And, at the same time, he drew the cross from his 
pocket, and offered it to Gudule, who, hesitating to accept 
it, cried 

"What are you talking about, Yvonnet? and why do 
you make sport of a poor girl?" 

"I do not make sport of you in any way, Gudule, and 
here is my lieutenant, who will tell you that what I affirm 
is the truth. ' ' 

"In fact," said Theligny, "I was present, my fair child, 
when the king charged Yvonnet to make this present. ' ' 

"You are acquainted with the king, then?" asked Gu- 
dule, quite astounded. 

"Since yesterday, and since yesterday the king is ac- 
quainted with you, Gudule, as well as with your worthy 
uncle, Jean Pauquet, for whom my lieutenant has a letter 
fromM. 1'Amiral." 

The lieutenant made a further sign of assent; and Gu- 
dule, who, as we have said, at first hesitated, now passed 
her trembling hand through the flowers a hand which 
Yvonnet kissed as he placed the cross in it. 


Theligny, approaching, then said 

"And now, iny dear M. Yvonnet, will you please ask 
Gudule where her uncle is, and in what disposition we are 
likely to find him?" 

' ' My uncle is at the Town Hall, monseigneur, ' ' said Gu- 
dule, who could hardly keep her eyes away from the cross, 
"and I think well disposed to defend the city." 

' ' Thanks, my fair child. Come away, Yvonnet. ' ' 

Gudule made a little sign of entreaty, and blushing up to 
the whites of her eyes 

"Then, monseigneur," said she, "if my father asks me 
where this cross came from" 

"You may tell him it comes from his Majesty," returned 
the young officer, smiling, who understood the alarm of Gu- 
dule; "that it has been given by the king in recognition of 
the good services which your uncle Jean and your father 
Guillaume have rendered him and are still likely to render 
him. In fine, if you do not wish as is very possible to 
name M. Yvonnet, you will add that it is I, Theligny, lieu- 
tenant in the company of the dauphin, who have brought 
you this cross." 

"Oh, thanks, thanks!" all joyous, and clapping her 
hands together; "but for this, I would never dare to 
wear it." 

Then in quick low tones to Yvonnet 

"When shall I see you again?" she asked. 

"When I was three or four leagues from you, Gudule, 
you saw me every night," replied Yvonnet; "judge how 
often you must see me when I am living in the same city. ' ' 

"Hush!" said Gudule. 

Then lower still 

"Come early," she said; "I think my father will pass 
the whole night at the Town Hall. ' ' 

She withdrew her head, and disappeared behind the 
curtain of verdure and flowers. 

The young men followed the causeway between the 
Somme and the fountain La Ferree. Half-way on the route, 

(12) -Vol. 20 


they turned from the abbey and church of Saint- Quentin- 
en-Isle, and crossed the first bridge, which led to the chapel 
in which the relics of the holy martyr were to be discovered, 
then a second bridge, which brought them to the strait of 
Saint- Pierre, and at last a third bridge which, after it was 
cleared, placed them in front of the two towers flanking the 
gate of Isle. 

The gate was guarded by a soldier of Theligny's regi- 
ment and by a bourgeois of the city. 

This time Theligny had no trouble in getting himself 
recognized; i-t was the soldier who came to him to ask him 
for news. People were saying that the enemy was very 
near; and this little company of a hundred and fifty men 
found itself somewhat isolated in the midst of all these 
bourgeois who were running right and left, frightened out 
of their wits, and who were losing their time in discussions 
at the meetings in the Town Hall meetings at which there 
was indeed much discussion, but very little action. 

Besides this, Saint- Quentin seemed to be a prey to fright- 
ful disorder. The principal artery which cuts the city for 
two-thirds of its length, and into which, like the affluents 
of a great river, ran, on the right, the Eue Wager, the Eue 
des Cordeliers, the Rue d'Issenghien, the Rue des Ligniers, 
and on the left, the Rue des Corbeaux, the Rue de la Truie- 
qui-file and the Rue des Brebis was thronged with people; 
and this multitude, become denser still on the Rue de la 
Sellerie, was packed so close on the great square that, as 
far as our cavaliers were concerned, it was like a wall 
almost impossible to break through. 

Still, when Yvonnet placed his cap on the end of his 
sword, and standing in his stirrups, shouted, "Make way! 
make way for the people of M. 1'Amiral!" the crowd, 
hoping they were coming to announce a reinforcement, 
made such violent efforts to open a path that at last the 
two cavaliers were able to start from the church of Saint- 
Jacques and reach the steps of the Town Hall, at the top 
of which was the mayor, Messire Yarlet de Gibercourt. 


They had arrived at an opportune moment. A meeting 
had just been held; and, thanks to the patriotism of the 
inhabitants, roused to fury by the eloquence of Maitre Jean 
Pauquet and his brother Gruillaume, it had been unani- 
mously resolved that the city of Saint- Quentin, faithful to 
its king and relying on its holy patron, would defend itself 
to the last extremity. 

The news brought by Theligny, that the admiral was 
approaching with a reinforcement, raised the enthusiasm 
to the very highest pitch. 

The citizens, at the very moment and without leaving 
the spot, organized themselves into companies which named 
their own leaders. Each company contained fifty men. 

The mayor opened the arsenal of the Town Hall; un- 
fortunately it was very poorly furnished. Only fifteen 
cannon were found in it, some in a very bad condition, 
and fifteen ordinary arquebuses and twenty- one arquebuses 
a croc ; but there was quite an abundance of halberds and 

Jean Pauquet was named captain of one of those com- 
panies, and Guillaume, his brother, lieutenant in another. 
So we see that honors were raining on this family, but these 
honors were dangerous. 

The sum total of the troops consisted then of a hundred 
and twenty or a hundred and thirty men of the Dauphin's 
Company, commanded by Theligny; a hundred men or 
thereabout, of the company of M. de Breuil, governor of 
Saint- Quentin, which arrived eight days ago from Abbeville, 
and two hundred bourgeois organized into four companies 
of fifty men each. Three of these companies were com- 
posed of arbaletriers, pikemen, and halberdiers; the fourth 
was armed with arquebuses. 

Suddenly a fifth was seen to appear, which was not ex- 
pected, and, because of its unexpected appearance and the 
elements forming it, created boundless enthusiasm. 

It arrived by the Eue Croix- Belle- Porte, and consisted 
of a hundred Jacobin monks, all carrying pikes or halberds. 


A man, covered with a robe, under which might be seen 
a coat of mail, led them, with a naked sword in his hand. 

Hearing the shouts raised as they passed, Yvonnet turned 
round, and, looking attentively at their captain, "May the 
devil burn me," he said, "if it is not Lactance!" 

In fact, it was Lactance. Foreseeing that a tough strug- 
gle was in prospect, he had retired among the Jacobins of 
the Rue des hosiers, in order to do penance, and put him- 
self, as far as possible, in a state of grace. The good fathers 
received him with open arms, and Lactance, although wholly 
devoted to the task of confessing and communicating, still 
remarked their patriotism, and thought it would not be 
a bad thing to utilize it. As a result of his cogitations, he 
imparted to them, as an inspiration from heaven, the idea 
that came to him of forming them into a military company; 
the proposal was favorably received. The prior consented 
to take an hour from Matins, and half an hour from Ves- 
pers, and devote the time to drilling; and, at the end of 
three days, Lactance, judging the monks sufficiently prac- 
ticed in military manoeuvres, had drawn them from the 
convent, and, as we have said, had led them to the square 
of the Town Hall, amid the acclamations of the multi- 

Saint- Quentin could therefore reckon, for the moment, 
on a hundred and twenty men of the Dauphin's Company, 
on a hundred men of the company of the governor of the 
city, on two hundred bourgeois, and a hundred Jacobin 
monks in all, five hundred and twenty combatants. 

Hardly had the mayor, governor, and the other magis- 
trates of the city inspected their forces, when loud cries rose 
from the ramparts, and people were seen arriving along the 
Rue de 1'Orfeverie and the Rue Saint- Andre, who were 
lifting their arms to heaven in a despairing fashion. 

After numberless inquiries and questions, it was learned 
that an immense number of peasants had been seen running 
along the plain which stretches from Homblieres to Mesnil- 
Saint-Laurent, pushing through the harvest fields, and ex- 


tdbiting, as far as could be judged at the distance they were 
still from the city, undoubted evidences of terror. 

That very moment the gates were ordered to be closed, 
and the ramparts manned. 

Lactance, who, in the thick of dangers, always preserved 
the coolness of a true Christian, immediately ordered his 
Jacobins to harness themselves to the cannon, and plant 
eight of them on the wall extending from the gate of Isle 
to the tower of Dameuse, two on the wall of the Vieux- 
Marche, three on the wall between the Grrosse Tour and 
the postern of the Petit Pont, and two on the old wall 
at the Faubourg d'Isle. 

Theligny and Yvonnet, who were on horseback, and 
who felt that, in spite of their terrible ride of the evening 
before, their steeds were still sound in wind and limb, issued 
forth through the Eemicourt gate, forded the river, and 
dashed across the plain to learn what was the cause of the 
flight of all these people. 

The first individual they met was supporting his nose 
and a part of his cheek with his right hand, trying, as well 
as he could, to keep these two precious objects in their 
place, and, at the same time, making eager signs with his 
right to Yvonnet. 

Yvonnet rode toward him, and recognized Malemort. 

"Ah!" howled the latter, with all the strength of his 
lungs, "to arms! to arms!" 

Yvonnet redoubled his pace, and, seeing his comrade 
streaming with blood, he jumped to the ground, and ex- 
amined his wound. 

It would have been terrible from the ravages it would 
have made on a virgin countenance; but the face of Male- 
mort had been so terribly carved already that a gash more 
or less did not count. 

Yvonnet made four folds of his handkerchief, with a hole 
in the centre to give passage to the nose of Malemort; 
then, having laid the patient on the ground and placed the 
wounded head on his knee, he bandaged the face so lightly 


and so adroitly that the ablest surgeon could not have done 

During this time Theligny was picking up information. 
This is what had happened: 

In the morning the enemy appeared in sight of Origny- 
Sainte-Benoite. Malemort, who happened to be there, hav- 
ing, with his usual instinct, scented that there would be 
a good many blows struck in that quarter, had excited the 
inhabitants to resistance. They had consequently retired 
into the castle with all the arms and war supplies they 
could gather. There they held out for nearly four hours. 
But the castle, being attacked by the whole van of the 
Spanish army, was carried by assault. Malemort did won- 
ders; however, it became at last necessary to retreat. 
Pressed too closely by three or four Spaniards, he stabbed 
one, knocked down another; but while he was attacking 
the third, the fourth struck at his face sidewise, making an 
awful gash a little below the eyes. Malemort, understand- 
ing how impossible it was to defend himself with a wound 
that blinded him, gave a loud cry, and fell backward, as 
if he had been suddenly killed. The Spaniards searched 
him, and took three or four sous parisis, which he happened 
to have about him, and went back to their companions, 
who were engaged in a more profitable kind of plundering. 
Thereupon Malemort rose, set back his nose and cheek in 
their natural places, did his best to keep them there with his 
hand, and directed his course to the city to give the alarm. 

And this was why Malemort, ordinarily the first to attack 
and the last to retreat, found himself this time, contrary to 
all his habits, at the head of the fugitives. 

Theligny and YVonnet had learned all they wanted to 
learn. Yvonnet took Malemort up behind him, and all 
three entered the city, crying, "To arms!" 

The entire city was awaiting their return. In an instant 
it was known that the enemy was only four or five leagues 
distant; but such was the resolution of the inhabitants that 
this news, so far from depressing, stimulated them. 


Luckily, among the men brought by M. de Breuil were 
found fifty gunners ; to them were assigned the fifteen can- 
non drawn by the Jacobin brothers to the ramparts. Three 
attendants were required for each; the monks offered to 
complete the batteries, and were accepted. After an hour's 
practice, a spectator would have fancied they had never 
done anything else in their lives. 

It was time, for at the end of an hour the first Spanish 
columns came in sight. 

The Town Council resolved to send a courier to the 
admiral to warn him of the situation; but no one wished 
to leave the city at the moment of danger. 

Yvonnet proposed Malemort. 

Malemort uttered loud cries: since his wound was at- 
tended to, he felt, he said, much livelier than ever before; 
it was fifteen months since he had a real good fight. The 
blood was choking him, and the little he had lost was a 
great relief to him. 

But Yvonnet observed to him that he would have a 
horse; that he would be allowed to keep this horse; that 
in two or three days he would return in the suite of Coligny, 
and that, thanks to this horse, he would be able, during the 
sorties that would take place, to advance further than if he 
was on foot. 

This last consideration decided Malemort. 

We may add that, in addition to this, Yvonnet had that 
influence over Malemort which weak, nervous natures always 
have over powerful ones. 

Malemort mounted horse, and galloped in the direction 
of La Fere. 

Those who remained behind might be tranquil; at the 
gait the adventurer rode at, the admiral would be warned 
in less than an hour and a half. 

Meanwhile, the gates were thrown open to receive the 
poor inhabitants of Origny-Sainte-Benoite, and all in the 
city were eager in their offers of hospitality. Then persons 
were sent into all the surrounding villages Harly, Eemi- 


court, La Chapelle, Eocourt, and Abbiette to requisition 
all the flour and grain that could be found in them. 

The enemy advanced on an immense line, and on a depth 
that led the garrison to fancy it would have to deal with the 
entire Spanish, German and Walloon army; that is to say, 
with fifty or sixty thousand men. 

Just as when the lava descends from the crater of Etna 
or Vesuvius, the houses crumble, and the trees are on fire 
before the torrent of flame reaches them, so, in front of 
all this black line which was advancing, houses might 
be seen disappearing in a blaze, and villages in a state 
of conflagration. 

The entire population gazed on this spectacle from the 
height of the rampart of Eemicourt, from the galleries of 
the collegial church, which commands the city, from the 
summit of the tower of Saint-Jean, from the Eed Tower, 
and the tower of L'Eau; and at every fresh blaze a con- 
cert of curses arose, and seemed, like to a cloud of ill- 
omened birds, to take flight and settle down upon the 

But the enemy was advancing for all that, chasing away 
the people before them, as the wind was chasing the smoke 
of the conflagrations. During some time the gates of the 
city continued to receive the fugitives; but they were soon 
obliged to shut them, the enemy being so near. 

And then the poor peasants belonging to the burning 
villages might be seen trying to pass by the city, to find 
a refuge at Vermand, Pontru and Caulaincourt. 

Soon the drums beat again. 

It was a signal for all non-combatants to quit the ram- 
parts and the towers. 

At last none remained along the entire line but the 
combatants, silent and taciturn, as men always are when 
gathered together to meet a danger. 

The vanguard could now be perfectly distinguished. It 
was composed of pistoliers, who, having crossed the Somme 
between Eouvroy and Harly, spread swiftly over all the cir- 


cumference of the city, occupying the approaches to the gates 
of Remicourt, Saint-Jean and Ponthoille. 

Behind the pistoliers, three or four thousand men, who 
might be recognized from the regularity of their march as 
belonging to those old Spanish bands reputed to be the best 
troops in the world, passed the Somme in their turn, and 
marched in the direction of the Faubourg d'Isle. 

"I have every reason to believe, my dear Yvonnet," said 
Theligny, "that the music will begin on the side of the 
house of your charmer. If you like to see how the tune 
is played, come with me." 

"Very willingly, lieutenant," said Yvonnet, who felt 
those nervous shudders passing through his body which, 
in his case, was always the sign of an approaching battle. 

And, with lips closely pressed and cheeks slightly pale, 
he proceeded toward the gate of Isle, where Theligny was 
leading nearly the half of his men, leaving the rest to sup- 
port the citizens and, at need, show them an example. 

We shall see later on that it was the citizens who showed 
the soldiers the example, instead of receiving it from them. 

They arrived at the Faubourg d'Isle. Yvonnet got a 
hundred steps in front, and had time to tap at the window 
of Gudule, who ran up all in a tremble, and to advise the 
young girl to descend into the lower apartments, seeing that 
it was not unlikely the balls would play at shuttlecock with 
the chimneys of the houses. He had not finished, when, as 
if to support his words, a ball passed swiftly with a hiss, 
and overturned a gable whose pieces fell like a shower of 
aerolites around the young man. 

Yvonnet leaped from the street on the post in front of 
the house, clung with both hands to the sill of the window, 
and, seeking amid the flowers for the trembling lips of the 
young girl, imprinted a very tender kiss on them, and then 
fell back into the street. 

"Should any misfortune happen to me, do not forget me 
too quick," said he; "and if you forget me, don't let it be 
for a Spaniard or a German or an Englishman!" 


And, without waiting for the assurance the young girl 
was about to give that she would love him always, he took 
his way to the old wall and found himself behind the para- 
pet, a few steps from the spot he was accustomed to scale 
during his nocturnal rambles. 

As had been foreseen by Theligny, who did not, in fact, 
arrive on the scene of battle until alter his squire, it was 
there the music was beginning. 

The music was noisy, and made the heads that heard 
it bend more than once; but gradually the bourgeois, who 
had at first supplied food for laughter to the soldiers, grew 
accustomed to it, and then became more furious than the 

However, the Spaniards came on in such increasing num- 
bers that the bourgeois were forced to abandon the exterior 
boulevard, which they had at first attempted to defend, but 
which, without a parapet, and commanded by the neighbor- 
ing heights, soon became no longer tenable. Protected by 
the two pieces of cannon, and by the arquebusiers of the old 
wall, they accomplished their retreat in good order, leaving 
three killed, but carrying off their wounded. 

Yvonnet was dragging along a Spaniard, through whose 
body he had passed his sword, and whose arquebuse he had 
taken; but as he had not had leisure to take, at the same 
time, the cartridges hanging from the baldrick of the dead 
man, he was drawing him aside, hoping that his trouble 
would not be lost, and that the pockets might be as well 
furnished as the baldrick. 

This confidence was rewarded: besides their three months' 
pay, distributed to the Spaniards the evening before to give 
them courage, each of them had appropriated a fair share of 
plunder during the five or six days they held the country. 
We cannot say whether Yvonnet 's Spaniard had appropri- 
ated more or less than the others; but, after visiting his 
pockets, Yvonnet appeared very well satisfied with what 
he found there. 

Behind the soldiers of Theligny and the bourgeois of the 


city, the two Spanish leaders, named Julian Romeron and 
Carondelet, took possession of the exterior boulevard, as 
well as of all the houses lining the causeway of Guise and 
of La Fere. These formed what was called the Haut Fau- 
bourg; but when they tried to clear the space between the 
exterior boulevard and the old wall, they were received 
with such a well-directed fire that they had to regain the 
houses, from the windows of which they continued firing 
until the darkness of night put an end to the encounter. 

It was only then that Yvonnet judged it proper to turn 
round his head. Then, ten paces in his rear, he saw the 
pale face of a charming young girl, who, under the pre- 
tence of making sure that her father was there, had, in 
spite of the prohibition, encroached on the ground of the 

liis eyes glanced from the young girl to his lieutenant. 

"My dear M. Yvonnet," said the latter, "you have been 
fighting or riding now two days ; you must be tired. Leave 
to others, then, the task of watching on the ramparts, and 
try to get a good, pleasant rest until to-morrow. You will 
find me where there is firing. ' ' 

Yvonnet did not need to be told twice. He saluted his 
lieutenant, gave a meaning glance at Gudule, and then 
started for the causeway, as if intending to go into the 

But, mistaking his way, doubtless on account of the 
darkness, he strayed into the suburbs; for, ten minutes 
later, he was in that little lane, in front of that little win- 
dow, and with one foot on that post from the top of which 
so many things could be done. 

What Yvonnet did was to cling to two little white hands, 
which had quickly passed through that little window, and 
drew him so skilfully and adroitly inside that it was easy 
to see it was not the first time they were employed in this 

The things we have just related occurred on the 2d of 
August, 1557. 




AS MIGrHT easily be foreseen, Malemort made quickly 
the six leagues that separated Saint- Quentin from 
the camp of La Fere. 

Before an hour and a half had elapsed, he was at the 
door of M. 1'Amiral. 

Although any one who witnessed the arrival of this man, 
after such a headlong gallop, his clothes covered with blood, 
his face with bandages, would have found it impossible to 
recognize Malemort under a mask that concealed everything 
but the eyes and mouth, yet it was easy to recognize in him 
a messenger of bad news. 

He was, therefore, on the very instant introduced to 

The admiral was with his uncle; the constable had just 

Malemort related the capture of Origny-Sainte-Benoite, 
the massacre of those who tried to defend the castle, the 
burning of all the villages on the line of march of the 
Spanish army, whose passage left a track of fire and smoke 
behind it. 

On the instant the uncle and nephew arranged their two 
courses of action. 

Coligny, with five or six hundred men, would set out at 
once for Saint- Quentin, would shut himself up in the city, 
and hold out to the last extremity. 

The constable, with the rest of the soldiers in the camp, 
would join the army of the Due de Nevers, whose force 
amounted to only eight or nine thousand men, and who 


was too weak, consequently, to attack the Spanish army, 
amounting to more than fifty thousand, but would watch 
and harass it, and be always ready to profit by its mis- 

This little troop manoeuvred on the confines of the Lyon- 
nais and the Thierache. 

The admiral immediately ordered the signal to saddle to 
be sounded, and the drums to beat the departure; but, in 
accordance with the advice of Maldent, he decided to take 
the road to Ham, instead of following the direct line. From 
all he had learned, he gathered that the Spaniards would at- 
tack Saint- Quentin by Re'micourt and the Faubourgs Saint- 
Jean and d'Isle. 

Consequently, on these three sides Coligny would find 
an obstacle to his project. 

The only road that, according to Maldent, would still 
have a chance of being free was that from Ham to Saint- 
Quentin, passing through marshes that were impracticable, 
except for those knowing the paths through them. 

Coligny took with him three bands of foot- soldiers. 
These bands were commanded by Captains Saint- Andr, 
Kambouillet, and Louis Poy. But the third, which had 
arrived from Gascony that very day, was so exhausted 
that it had to stop on the road between Ham and La Fere. 

Soon after the constable and the admiral left La Fere, 
they found sitting on his haunches, in the middle of the 
road, a huge black dog, which began howling with all his 
might. When they chased him, he ran before them about 
a hundred paces, sat down in the same fashion, and howled 
more horribly than ever. Chased again, he a'cted in a simi- 
lar way, his howls becoming stronger and more desperate 
than before. 

Then the constable, looking at M. de Coligny 

"What the devil do you think of this, nephew?" he 

"Faith, I think the music is in no way pleasant, mon- 
sieur, and I believe we are likely to play the comedy." 


"Yes, and perhaps the tragedy as well," replied the con- 
stable. ' 

At this prediction both of them embraced, the admiral 
continuing his way to Ham, the constable returning to La 
Fere, which he left the same evening. 

But another omen awaited the latter when he quitted 
the city. 

He had scarcely gone a league on the road to Laon, 
when a kind of pilgrim, with a long beard and dressed in 
a long robe, seized the reins of his horse, crying 

' l Montmorency ! Montmorency ! I announce to thee that 
in three days all thy glory shall be in the dust!" 

"Be it so," said the constable; "but I announce to thee 
that before that thine shall be in the gutter ! ' ' 

And he gave him so rough a blow with his fist that the 
poor prophet fell unconscious on the roadside, and had his 
jaw broken. 2 

The constable went on his way, as did the admiral, each 
carrying with him his fatal omen. 

Coligny reached Ham about five in the evening. His 
resolution was not to stop any time until he reached Saint- 
Quentin. Therefore, after allowing his soldiers an hour's 
rest, he resumed his march with his gendarmes and two 
companies of infantry only. 

At Ham, MM. de Jarnac and de Luzarches did all they 
could to retain him, pointing out the services he could do 
in the open country, and offering to go and shut themselves 
up there in his stead; but he answered 

"I would rather lose everything I possess than not bring 
to those brave people, who have shown such a good dis- 
position to defend their city, the aid I promised them!" 

And, as we have said, he set out, without a minute's 
delay, at the hour he had appointed. 

At the gates of Ham he met the Abbot of Saint- Prix. 
He was a very noble prelate, named Jacques de la Motte; 

1 "Memoires de Mergey," folio 250. 8 "Memoires de Melvil." 


was at the same time canon of Saint- Quentin, Chartres, 
Paris, and Le Mans ; he possessed, besides, two priories, and 
when he died, he had been canon under five kings, begin- 
ning with Frangois I. 

Coligny, suspecting that the illustrious traveller came 
from Saint- Quentin, went up to him; the warrior and the 
churchman recognized each other. 

When the first shots were fired at the gate of Isle, the 
abbot quitted the city by the Faubourg de Ponthoille, and 
was going with all speed to inform the king of the position 
of Saint- Quentin, and ask for succor. So, as the admiral 
had foreseen, the last road left open was the one he followed. 

"M. 1'Abbe, " said the admiral to the prelate, "since you 
are about to see the king, do me the favor to tell his Majesty 
that you have this night met me at the head of a good troop, 
and that I reckon, with (rod's help, to enter Saint- Quentin, 
where I hope to do him good service. ' ' 

And, having saluted the abbot, he continued on his way. 

A league further on he began to perceive the fugitives 
of Origny-Sainte-Benoite and other villages nearer Saint- 
Quentin, who, not finding a refuge in the city, had been 
forced to fly beyond it. The poor creatures were worn out 
with fatigue some still limping along, still others lying at 
the foot of trees, and dying of hunger and exhaustion. 

The admiral distributed some help among them, and 
then resumed his march. 

Two leagues from Saint- Quentin, night overtook him; 
but Maldent was there. He answered for the safety of 
those who wished to follow him ; and, hoping there would 
be a liberal reward at the end of the journey, he offered, 
as a proof of his good faith, to march in front of the ad- 
miral's horse with a rope about his neck. 

The band of Captain Rambouillet agreed to take a path 
pointed out to it; but Captain Saint- Andre declared he had 
a good guide of his own, and asked to follow him. 

No obstacle presented itself on the road to Saint- Quentin. 
The city had not been entirely invested; one of its sides, 


that of the Faubourg de Ponthoille, had been reserved for 
the English army, which was likely to arrive at any mo- 
ment, and it was exactly this side that the admiral was 

As a precaution, a view had been taken of the situation 
of the city and of its besiegers from the height of Savy, and 
it was perceived that the fires of the enemy extended only 
from the chapel of Epargnemaille to within some distance 
of Graillard; it almost looked as if a path had been expressly 
opened for the little troop of the admiral. 

This was the very point that troubled him ; he was afraid 
of an ambuscade. 

Procope, who, from his frequent conferences with Mai- 
dent, had become familiar with the Picard dialect, offered 
to reconnoitre. 

The admiral accepted, and called a halt. 

At the end of three-quarters of an hour the adventurer 
returned; the road was perfectly free, and he was able to 
approach so close to the rampart that he saw the sentinel 
who was patrolling between the gate of Ponthoille and the 
tower facing the Pre aux Oisons. 

Then Procope whistled to the sentinel across the little 
rivulet which at that period ran along the foot of the wall ; 
the sentinel stopped, and tried to penetrate the darkness. 

Procope whistled a second time, and, sure that he had 
been seen, announced the approach of the admiral. 

In this way the post at the gate of Ponthoille would be 
warned, and the admiral introduced into the city immedi- 
ately on his arrival. 

Coligny praised highly the intelligence of Procope, ap- 
proved of all he had done, and now resumed his march with 
more confidence, guided still by Maldent. 

At thirty yards from the gate a man rose from a fosse ; 
he held a pistol in his han'd, ready to be fired, if, instead 
of a friendly troop, the troop approaching was a hostile one. 

Suddenly a long thick mass of shadow was noticed on 
the ramparts; it was a hundred men, who had been sum- 


moned to this point in case the news given by Procope to 
the sentinel might be a deception to conceal a surprise. 

The man with the pistol, who had started up from the 
fosse, was Lieutenant Theligny. 

He advanced, saying 

' ' France and Theligny ! ' ' 

"France and Coligny I" replied the admiral. 

The recognition was instantaneous ; and the promised re- 
inforcement having arrived, the gates were thrown open. 

The admiral and his hundred and twenty men entered. 

At the same moment the report of his arrival spread 
through the city; the inhabitants left their houses, half- 
clad, shouting with joy. Many wished to illuminate ; some 
had already begun. 

The admiral ordered the shouts to cease and the lights 
to be extinguished. He feared the enemy might be more 
on the alert on account of this, and redouble their watch- 
fulness. Besides, Saint- Andre and his troop had not yet 

At three o'clock in the morning there was no news of 
them yet. 

Then, as it was near daybreak, and it was of the utmost 
importance that they should not fall in with any Spanish 
troops, Lactance advanced with six or eight of his Jacobins. 

The good fathers, whom their habit protected from all 
suspicion, offered to scatter about the country for a radius 
of one or two leagues, and bring back the strayed com- 

Their offer was accepted, and they set out, some by the 
gate of Ponthoille, others by the Sainte- Catherine postern. 

Between four and five in the morning a troop of sixty 
men, led by two Jacobin fathers, made its appearance. 

Then, toward six, a second troop of from fifty-five to 
sixty arrived, also led by a monk. 

'Captain Saint- Andr was with this second troop. The 
guide had gone astray, and led the others astray with him. 

The rest of the fathers arrived, one after another; and 

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through, the admiral descended to the Town Hall. There 
he ordered that he should be given a list of all men fit to 
bear arms; that search be made for all the arms that might 
still be in the city; that the names of all the workmen and 
workwomen be taken down who could be employed at 
the earthworks; that a perquisition should be made with the 
view of gathering together all the tools, spades, shovels, 
baskets, pickaxes, and such like; that an account should 
be drawn up of all grain, flour, wines, cattle, provisions 
of every sort contained in the public magazines as well as in 
private houses, for the purpose of establishing some order 
in the consumption and avoiding pillage. In fine, he de- 
manded an exact account, not only of the artillery, but 
also of the quantity of powder and balls, as well as the 
number of men serving the cannon. 

During the tour he had just made the admiral had seen 
only two mills: a windmill situated at the end of the Eue 
du Billon, near the Eed Tower, and a water-mill on the 
Somme, at the foot of the Faubourg d'Isle. These two 
mills were not enough for grinding the corn necessary 
for the consumption of a city of twenty thousand in- 

He expressed his fears on this point. But the aldermen 
at once reassured him, declaring there were fifteen or sixteen 
hand-mills in the city which could be worked by horses, 
and which, if kept going constantly, would suffice for the 
nourishment of the city and garrison. 

Then Coligny saw to the billeting of the soldiers, adopt- 
ing the division of the city into four quarters, but sub- 
dividing those quarters into sixteen parts, for the surveil- 
lance of which he appointed sixteen citizens and sixteen 
officers, all whose decisions were to be in concert. The 
troops were assigned to the guard of the walls, conjointly 
with the bourgeois militia, each body having to protect its 
respective quarter. The Town Council was to sit perma- 
nently, in order to be able to answer without delay to all 
the requisitions addressed to it. 


In fine, the admiral presented to the corporation the 
gentlemen forming what to-day we should call his staff, 
who were to act as intermediaries between him and the 

In addition to these officers Captain Languetot was 
named superintendent of artillery j having at his disposal 
ten men-at-arms to whom was assigned the mission of veri- 
fying the quantity of powder employed by the cannoneers 
each day, and who were particularly charged to watch that 
this precious powder should be sheltered from all danger. 

While going along the ramparts, Coligny remarked, near 
the gate Saint- Jean, at hardly a hundred paces from the 
wall, a large number of gardens filled with fruit-trees and 
surrounded by lofty and dense hedges. These trees and 
hedges offered to the enemy a cover that allowed him to 
approach the ramparts. 

As these gardens belonged to the chief persons of the 
city, the admiral asked the council's consent to clear them: 
this consent was given without any difficulty; and all the 
carpenters of the city were at once set to work cutting down 
the hedges and fruit-trees. Their branches were destined 
for fascines. 

Then, seeing the assembly of the same mind and same 
spirit, nobles, bourgeois, and soldiers animated, if not with 
the same enthusiasm, at least with the, same energy, Coligny 
retired to the house of the governor, where he had appointed 
a meeting of the officers of all the companies. 

This house waS- situated in the Riie de la Monnaie, be- 
tween the Templerie and the Jacobins. 

The officers were informed of what had just been done. 
The admiral spoke of the good spirit of the inhabitants, 
and their resolution to defend themselves to the last ex- 
tremity ; he urged them, by softening, as much as possible, 
the hardships of the situation, to maintain cordial union 
between those two powers so rarely in accord the army 
and the bourgeoisie. 

Each captain had, besides, to furnish, on the spot, a 


statement of the condition of his company, in order that 
the admiral might know exactly the number of men he 
could dispose of, and figure up how many military mouths 
had to be fed. 

Then, going up with an engineer to the gallery of the 
Collegiate, he pointed out, from that elevated point, where 
a view of the entire circumvallation of the city could be 
embraced, the excavations that had to be filled up and the 
elevations that had to be levelled down. 

These orders having been given, and being alone with 
the officer whom he intended sending to the constable to 
obtain a reinforcement of troops, while it was still possible 
to revictual the place, he decided that the Savy road, all 
covered with vines and debouching through a chain of 
little hills, was the most favorite route for such troops 
as might try to enter the city. 

Captain Saint- Andre had, in fact, entered from this 
quarter in full daylight, and without being seen. 

Then, these orders being given, and these dispositions 
arranged, Coligny at last remembered that he was a man, 
and returned to snatch a few hours' repose. 



WHILE all these measures for the public safety were 
being taken by Coligny, on whom rested the en- 
tire responsibility of the defence of the city, and 
while the admiral, a little reassured, as we have said, by 
the ardor of the soldiers and the courage of the citizens, 
had retired to the governor's palace to take a little repose, 
our adventurers, ready, also, to fight for the city because 
Coligny had taken them into his pay, after certain reserva- 
tions had been made by Procope our adventurers, taking 
everything carelessly, waiting for the first signal of the 


trumpet and the drum, had pitched their tent a hundred 
paces from the gate of Isle, and established their domicile 
on a vacant piece of ground extending, in front of the Cor- 
deliers, from the extremity of the .Rue Wager to the talus 
of the wall. 

As a result of the entrance of Coligny into Saint- Quentin 
they were all united again. They were settling accounts. 

Yvonnet, standing, had just faithfully poured into the 
common treasury the half of the sum he owed to the lib- 
erality of King Henri II. ; Procope, half the fees he had 
received as notary; Maldent, half of the wages he earned 
as guide; Malemort, half of the gratuity given him for 
going to warn Coligny, all wounded though he was, of 
the arrival of the Spaniards; Pilletrousse, in fine, half of 
the amount he had gained by selling what was left of the 
ox of the two Scharfensteins. 

As to the latter, as there had been no fight, they had 
nothing to contribute to the pile, and were busy roasting 
the remains of the quarter of the ox left after the distribu- 
tion of the other three-quarters by Pilletrousse, not at all 
concerning themselves about the future scarcity of provi- 
sions likely to result from the blockade. 

Lactance brought two large sacks of wheat and a sack of 
beans, which he offered to the community instead of money : 
it was a present to our adventurers from the convent of the 
Jacobins, whose monks had, as we know, been organized 
into a regiment and had chosen .Lactance as captain. 

Fracasso was all absorbed in his search for a rhyme to 
perdre, which he did not find. 

Under a kind of shed, hastily built, the two horses of 
Yvonnet and Malemort were munching their hay and enjoy- 
ing their oats. 

A portable mill was established under the shed, not to 
have it near the horses, but * to have it under cover; the 
duty of turning it was intrusted to Heinrich and Franz. 

The pecuniary affairs of the association were in a good 
condition; and forty golden crowns, carefully counted by 


Procope, counted over again by Mai dent, and arranged in 
a line in piles by Pilletrousse, were ready to enter the 
common chest. 

Should the association continue equally prosperous for 
a whole year, it was the intention of Procope to purchase 
a notary's or an attorney's business in some village; Mai- 
dent's to purchase a little farm on the road to La Fere a 
farm he knew of old, for he was, as we have said, from that 
country; Yvonnet's to marry some rich heiress, to whose 
hand his elegance and fortune would give him a double 
title; Pilletrousse 's to found some great butchery either in 
Paris or in a provincial town; Fracasso's to have his poems 
printed after the manner of M. Bonsard and M. Jodelle ; in 
fine, Malemort's to fight for his own hand, and this as long 
as he liked a stipulation that would save him from being 
bothered by the warnings of his comrades and those into 
whose service he entered, that he was taking too little care 
of his personal safety. 

As to the two Scharfensteins,*having no idea, they had 
no project. 

At the moment when Maldent was counting the last 
crown, and Pilletrousse was building up the last pile, a 
kind of shadow fell upon the adventurers, indicating that 
some opaque body had interposed between them and the 

Instinctively Procope stretched forth his hands toward 
the gold ; Maldent, quicker still, covered it with his cap. 

Yvonnet turned round. The same young man who had 
tried to buy his horse in the camp of La Fere was standing 
at the entrance to the tent. 

Quick as Maldent had been in covering the money with 
his cap, the unknown had seen it; and, with the prompt 
glance of a man to whom such reckonings are familiar, he 
had calculated that the sum they were so anxious to hide 
from his eyes amounted to some fifty crowns of gold. 

u Ah, ah I" said he, "it would seem the harvest has not 
been bad! An unseasonable moment to propose doing a 


little business with you; you are sure to be hard as the 
devil, my masters!" 

"That depends on the gravity of the business, "' said 

"There are several kinds of business," said Maiden t. 

"Does this business lead to anything further than the 
benefit to be gained from the business itself?" asked 

"If there are blows to be given, I'm your man," said 

"Provided it be not an expedition against any church 
or convent, it might be arranged," said Lactance. 

"Particularly if it occur by moonlight," said Fracasso. 
"I am in favor of nocturnal expeditions; they alone are 
poetic and picturesque." 

Yvonnet said nothing; he was gazing at the stranger. 

The two Scharf ensteins were entirely occupied in *roast- 
ing their piece of beef. 

All these observations, each of which painted the char- 
acter of the speaker, issued almost simultaneously from the 
lips of the adventurers. 

The young man smiled. He replied, at the same time, 
to all the questions, regarding, successively, the person to 
whom was addressed the fraction of his answer. 

"Yes," he said, "the affair is grave; no graver could 
be imagined. And, although there are advantages to be 
gained o.utside the business itself, as there are a good share 
of blows to be given and taken, I reckon on offering you a 
reasonable sum, and one that must satisfy the most difficult. 
Moreover, religious minds need not be alarmed," he added; 
"there is no question of church or convent; and it is proba- 
ble that, for greater security, we shall act by night; I must 
say, however, that I should prefer a dark night to a night 
lighted up by moon and stars. ' ' 

""Well, well," said Procope, who usually took charge of 
the discussion of the interests of the society, "develop your 
proposal, and we shall see if it be acceptable. ' ' 

(13) Vol. 20 


"My proposal is," replied the young man, "to hire you 
for a nocturnal expedition, or a skirmish, or combat, or bat- 
tle in open day. ' ' 

' ' And what shall we have to do in this nocturnal expedi- 
tion, or skirmish, or combat, or battle ?" 

"You will have to attack him whom I attack, to surround 
and strike him until he dies. ' ' 

"And if he surrenders ?" 

"I warn you beforehand that he shall have no quarter 
from me. ' ' 

"Pesfe/" said Procope; "it is war to the death, then?" 

' ' To the death ! you are right, my friend ! ' ' 

"Good!" growled Malemort,, rubbing his hands; "that's 
the way to talk!" 

"But still," said Maldent, "if the ransom was good, it 
seems to me it would be better to hold to ransom than 
to kill." 

"Consequently, I shall treat of the ransom and the death 
at the same time, in order that these two cases be provided 

"That is to say," returned Procope, "that you buy the 
man, living or dead?" 

' ' At the same price. ' ' 

"Good!" said Maldent; "it seems to me, however, that 
a live man is worth more than a dead one." 

"No, for I would buy the live man from you only to 
make him a dead one; that's all." 

"Let us see," said Procope; "how much do you 

"A moment, Procope!" said Yvonnet; "it is right that 
M. Waldeck should tell us who the man is. " 

The young man made a bound backward. 

"You have pronounced a name " said he. 

"Which is yours, monsieur," returned Yvonnet, while 
the adventurers looked at one another, beginning to suspect 
that it was to Yvonnet they should leave the care of their 


The young man scowled with his thick red eyebrows. 

"And since when have you recognized me?" he asked. 

"Do you wish me to tell you ?" answered Yvonnet. 

Waldeck hesitated. 

"Do you remember the Chateau du Parcq?" continued 
the adventurer. 

Waldeck turned pale. 

"Do you remember the forest of Saint- Pol- sur-Ternoise ?" 

"It is just because I remember it that I am here, and 
making the proposal you are discussing. ' ' 

"Then it is Duke Emmanuel Philibert that you are pro- 
posing to us to kill," said Yvonnet, quietK 

"Pestel" cried Procope, "the Duke of Savoy!" 

"You see it was good to have an explanation," said 
Yvonnet, casting a side glance at his companions. 

"And why should one not kill the Duke of Savoy?" 
exclaimed Malemort. 

"I do not say that the Duke of Savoy may not be 
killed," retorted Procope. 

"Nor I!" said Malemort; "the Duke of Savoy is our 
enemy, since we have taken service with the admiral, and 
I do not see why he should not be killed like another!" 

Maldent made a sign of assent. 

"It should cost dearer!" he said. 

"Not to say that it would endanger our souls!" said 

"Bah!" said Waldeck, with his evil smile; "do you 
believe that, if he is not in hell for something else, Ben- 
venuto Cellini has been damned for slaying the Connetable 
de Bourbon?" 

"The Connetable de Bourbon was a rebel, distinguo," 
said Procope. 

"And, moreover, as he was fighting against Pope' Clem- 
ent VII., it was a pious work to kill him," added Lactance. 

"Oh! and of course your Duke of Savoy is such a 
friend of Pope Paul IV.!" returned Waldeck, shrugging 
his shoulders. 


"Well, well, that is not the question at all," said Pille- 
trousse; "the question is the price." 

"G-ood!" returned Wai deck; "that is called returning 
to the question. What do you say to five hundred gold 
crowns a hundred as earnest- money, and four hundred 
when the thing is done?" 

Procope shook his head. "I say that we are still far 
from the sum required. ' ' 

"I am sorry," said Waldeck, "for, not to lose time, this is 
my last offer. I have five hundred gold crowns, and not a 
carolus more; if you refuse, I shall have to look elsewhere. " 

The adventurers sought one another's eyes; five out of 
the seven shook their heads. Malemort alone was of opin- 
ion that they should accept, because he saw there were 
blows to be given and taken. Fracasso had fallen back 
into his poetic reveries. 

"For that matter," said Waldeck, "there's no hurry; 
you will reflect. I know you; you know me. We dwell 
in the same city ; we can easily find each other again. ' ' 

And, saluting the adventurers with a slight nod, he 
turned on his heel, and was gone. 

"Ought we to call him back?" said Procope. 

"Faith!" said Maldent, "five hundred crowns are not 
found under every hedge!" 

' ' And then, ' ' said Yvonnet, " it is all he has ; the loveli- 
est girl in the world cannot give more than that." 

" My brethren, " said Lactance, "the lives of the princes 
of the earth are under the direct guardianship of Heaven ; 
one risks one's soul by touching them. We must touch 
them, then, only for a sum that will allow each one of us 
to purchase the indulgences of which he shall have need, 
whether we succeed or no. The intention, my brethren 
the worthy prior of the Jacobins told me so yesterday the 
intention, my brethren, is taken for the deed. ' ' 

"There is no doubt," said Procope, "that the deed itself 
would gain us more than the sum mentioned in the proposal. 
What if we did it on our own account, eh ?" 


"Yes," said Malemort; "let us do the job." 

"Gentlemen," said Procope, "the idea is M. Waldeck's. 
To take from a man his idea, especially when he has con- 
fided it to us, would be robbery. You know my principles 
in matters of law. ' ' 

"Well," said Yvonnet, "if the idea is his, and he has 
a property in it, I think it would be as well to accept the 
five hundred crowns. ' ' 

"Yes; let us accept and have a fight!" cried Malemort. 

"Oh, there's no hurry," said Maldent. 

"And if he treats with others?" asked Yvonnet. 

"Yes, if he treats with others?" repeated Procope. 

"Let us accept and have a fight!" howled Malemort. 

"Yes! yes! let us accept!" cried all, with one voice. 

"Let us accept!" cried the two Scharfensteins, who en- 
tered at the moment, bearing on a plank their piece of roast 
beef, and, without knowing what it was all about, ranged 
themselves on the side of the majority, giving a fresh proof 
of good disposition. 

' ' Then let some one run after him and call him back, ' ' 
said Procope. 

"Let me!" said Malemort. And he rushed out. 

But no sooner had he done so than he heard some shots 
in the direction of the Faubourg d'Isle, which suddenly 
increased to a lively fusillade. 

"A fight! a fight!" cried Malemort, drawing his sword, 
and running toward the sound, which came from a point 
directly opposite to that made for by the bastard of Wai- 
deck, who was going toward the tower of L'Eau. 

"Oh, oh! there is fighting at the Faubourg d'Isle!" ex- 
claimed Yvonnet; "I must see what has become of Grudule!" 

"But the business?" cried Procope. 

"Finish it as you like," said Yvonnet; "whatever you 
do will be well done I give you my proxy. ' ' 

He rushed after Malemort, who had already passed the 
first bridge, and had his foot on the island forming the strait 
of Saint- Pierre. 


Let us follow, in our turn, Malemort and Yvonnet, in 
order to find out what was taking place at the Faubourg 



IT WILL be recollected that, on entering the government 
palace, Coligny had given orders, toward the evening, 
for a sortie, having for object to burn the houses lining 
the exterior boulevard, under cover of which the Spaniards 
were able to fire on the defenders of the city, who, stationed 
on an interior plateau, had no shelter from it. 

These orders had been given to MM. Theligny, Jarnac, 
and Luzarches. 

Consequently, at six in the evening, the three officers 
collected a hundred men from their companies and a hun- 
dred and twenty citizens of good will, led by Gruillaume 
and Jean Pauquet. 

These two hundred and twenty men were to attack two 

Hardly thirty paces from the old wall the road bifur- 
cates, as we have already stated. 

One of these branches leads to Guise, the other to La Fere. 

The houses to be destroyed lay on each side of this road, 
and on each of its branches. 

The little troop, once out of the city, had therefore to 
divide itself into two bands: one attacking on the right, 
the other on the left, and setting fire to the houses at the 
same time. 

Gruillaume and Jean Pauquet, who knew the localities, 
took charge of these two bands. 

At half-past six the gate of the Faubourg d'Isle was 
opened, and the little troop marched out at double quick. 

But secret as had been the gathering, quick as had been 
the sortie, the gathering had been signalled by the sentries, 
and the sortie anticipated by Carondelet and Julian Eomeron. 


The result was that at the opening of each street the 
French found a platoon of Spaniards double their number, 
and that from each window there was a hail of death upon 

But still, such was the impetuosity of their shock that 
the platoons of Spaniards defending the two streets were 
broken, and, in spite of the fire from the windows, five or 
six houses were invaded. 

No need of saying that Malemort, shouting, howling, 
cursing, and, above all, striking, had managed to make his 
way to the head of the two columns, and to be the first to 
enter one of the houses. 

Once in the house, it is useless to say that Malemort 
forgot he was there to burn it; and, rushing up the stair- 
case, he gained the upper story. 

On the other hand, those who came with him forgot that 
he had entered before them, and, remembering only their 
orders, piled up fagots in the lower rooms, and especially 
at the foot of the staircase. 

They then set fire to them. 

The same happened to two or three houses lining the 

The Spaniards had at first supposed the attack to be an 
ordinary sortie ; but they soon guessed the aim of the French 
from the clouds of smoke escaping from the ground- floors. 

Then they united all their efforts, and, being ten times 
superior to the little troop, they repulsed it. 

But the latter had at least been partially successful: 
flames were beginning to issue from the roofs of two or 
three houses. 

It will be remembered that Yvonnet, not having been 
one of those selected for the sortie, had had the idea of 
utilizing his time by visiting Mademoiselle Gudule, whose 
terrors he calmed; these terrors were great, for, as we have 
said, the father and uncle of the young girl acted as guides 
on this occasion. 

For a moment the cries, shouts, noise of the fusillade 


were so loud that Yvonnet himself was anxious to learn 
what was passing, and crept into the garret, accompanied 
by the young girl, who followed him like his shadow, a 
little through fear, but much through love. 

Then, through a dormer window, he could form some 
idea of what was going on. 

The firing from the arquebuses never ceased ; and, at the 
same time, the clash of steel against steel showed that there 
was a hand-to-hand conflict in the streets. 

This was not all. As we have said, the smoke issued 
through the roofs of four or five houses, and in the midst 
of the smoke human beings were seen going and coming 
quite scared. 

These were the Spaniards, surprised by the conflagra- 
tion, and who, as the stairs were burning, could not de- 
scend from the upper stories of the houses. 

It was easily seen that the Spaniards in the houses were in 
great fear ; but, in one case, this fear rose to absolute dismay. 

It was where Malemort was operating, who, paying no 
attention at all to the conflagration, was attacking, smiting, 
fighting, in the midst of the smoke. 

At the moment Yvonnet put his nose out of the window 
the scene was passing on the first story. 

Such of the Spaniards as preserved some coolness while 
defending this first story, having to wrestle at once with the 
flames and with a man who seemed to be a demon, at last 
jumped out of the window. 

The others instinctively retreated to the second story. 

Malemort did not trouble himself about those who leaped 
from the windows; but he pursued those who fled to the 
second story, howling his favorite cry, "A fight!" 

During all this time the devouring element was doing its 
office, Malemort was pursuing the Spaniards, and the fire 
was pursuing Malemort. 

Doubtless the adventurer owed his by no means usual 
invulnerability this time to the powerful ally marching be- 
hind him, to whom he evidently paid no attention. 


Soon the smoke obscured the second story, as it had 
the first, and the fire darted its tongues of flame through 
the floor. 

One or two Spaniards, braving the danger of the fall, 
jumped through the windows of the second story just as 
their comrades had jumped through those of the first. 
Others tried to escape by the roof. 

Two men and the half of a third man succeeded in get- 
ting through a dormer window; we say the half of a third 
man, because the latter seemed to have been brought to 
a halt, and showed unmistakably by the expression of his 
countenance that things were happening to that part of his 
body remaining behind which were very disagreeable. 

Malemort was, in fact, dealing that inactive portion of 
the human frame fearful blows with his sword. 

The Spaniard, after making vain attempts to join his 
companions running along the roofs, fell back, and, in spite 
of a final effort to hang on to the sill of the window, disap- 
peared at last entirely. 

Five minutes after it was the face of Malemort that ap- 
peared at the dormer window, instead of that of the Span- 
iard. The new face was easily recognizable by its linen 
mask a souvenir of the last battle of the owner, which ap- 
peared at the window instead of that of the Spaniard. 

He saw his two enemies flying, and was setting out in 

Malemort might have been taken for a tiler or a rope- 
dancer, so steadily did he tread the narrow path. 

If he had been a Mussulman his shadow would undoubt- 
edly have crossed, without the aid of a balancing pole, that 
bridge of Mahomet's Paradise which leads from earth to 
heaven, and is not broader than the edge of a razor. 

The two fugitives soon saw the danger that menaced them. 

One of them came to a decision immediately: at the 
risk of breaking his legs, he slid down the slope of the 
roof, seized the border of the window, and slipped through 
into the room below. 


This house, though placed between two fires, had so far 

Malemort did not bother himself about the Spaniard who 
had so far succeeded in his perilous slide, and continued his 
pursuit of the one who remained. 

From their observatory Yvonnet and Gudule followed 
the course of these aerial gymnastics Yvonnet with all the 
interest such a spectacle would naturally produce in a man, 
Gudule with all the terror it must excite in a woman. 

In this fashion the two acrobats, going from house to 
house, gained the last roof, which, like many of our old 
buildings, seemed to lean forward in order to admire itself 
in the river. 

This house was of wood, and was burning on all sides. 

Arrived at the extremity of the roof, and, seeing that 
he could not go further, except Saint- James, the patron of 
Spain, lent him wings, the fugitive, who doubtless did not 
know how to swim, turned back, resolved to sell his life 

The struggle began; but at the moment it reached its 
highest degree of fury the roof cracked to give exit to the 
smoke first, and the flames afterward; then it tottered, 
then sank, burying both combatants in its frightful 

One of them disappeared entirely. The other hung on to 
a rafter that, though burning, was still solid, recovered his 
centre of gravity, made his way, all on fire, to the extremity 
of the rafter, and then, launching himself from the top of 
a second story, threw himself into the Somme. 

Gudule uttered a loud cry; Yvonnet almost flung him- 
self out of the window ; for a moment both hardly breathed. 
Was the bold plunger engulfed forever, or was he going to 
reappear ? 

Then, the second question, was it the Spaniard, or was it 
Malemort ? 

Soon the surface of the water bubbled, and a head was 
seen to appear, then arms, then a torso, which swam, ac- 


cording to the flow of the water, evidently with the design 
of landing behind the old wall. 

The moment the swimmer took this direction, it was 
pretty certain it was Malemort. 

Yvonnet and Ghidule descended rapidly, and ran to the 
point where the swimmer, in all probability, was going to 
land. And, in fact, they arrived just in time to drag out 
of the water, half burned, half drowned, the furious fighter, 
who, utterly exhausted, fainted in their arms, and bran- 
dished his sword, shouting, "Battle! battle!" 

Bad as was Malemort 's case, every one did not get off as 
well as he did. 

.Repulsed, as we have said, by the old Spanish band of 
Carondelet and Don Julian, the soldiers and bourgeois, after 
succeeding in burning two or three houses, not having been 
able to retreat in as orderly a manner as was desirable, were 
huddled together at the old wall in a manner that gave the 
Spaniards a chance of having their revenge. 

Thirty soldiers and twenty townsmen remained on the 
square ; and for a time it looked as if the Spaniards would 
enter pell-mell with those they were pursuing. Yvonnet 
heard the cries of the Spaniards, who were already howl- 
ing, "The city is taken!" He ran to the tent of the adven- 
turers, all the time shouting, "To arms!" and returned with 
a reinforcement of a hundred men one part of whom scat- 
tered along the ramparts, while the other rushed upon the 
enemy, already under the vault. 

But at the head of those who rushed to the aid of the 
faubourg were the two Scharfensteins, armed, the one with 
his club, the other with his two-handed sword. The blows 
fell upon the Spaniards thick as those of the flail upon the 
threshing-floor, and all had to recoil before the two giants. 

Once the Spaniards were driven out of the vault, the 
question was to close the gates. Now, this was not a thing 
easily done, for the enemy opposed it with all their might- 
some holding the doors back with their hands, others with 
the butts of their muskets. But the two Scharfensteins 


managed to get between the combatants and the wall; and, 
stiffening themselves against it, they gradually, bnt irresis- 
tibly, succeeded in bringing the folds of the door together, 
and shot the bolts across them. 

This task accomplished, they breathed noisily and in 
such perfect unison that it almost looked as if these two 
bodies had but a single pair of lungs. 

But the two giants had hardly regained their normal 
condition, when a cry of terror resounded, ' k To the walls ! 
to the walls!" 

Two breaches had, in fact, been made in the wall, one on 
each side of the gate, with the object of transporting from 
that quarter the earth needed for constructing certain plat- 
forms for artillery ; these breaches had been closed up with 
bales of wool, etc. 

Now, when the besiegers were driven from the gate, they 
bethought themselves of the breaches, and hoped to carry 
the city by making a sudden dash on them. 

The two Scharfensteins, on rushing out of the vault, had 
only to cast a glance round them to judge of the imminence 
of the peril. In spite of their usual custom of fighting 
together, a division of their strength was, in the circum- 
stances, so urgent that, after exchanging a few words with 
their usual laconic sobriety, the uncle ran to the breach on 
the right, the nephew to the breach on the left. 

The enemy, being supplied with those long pikes which, 
at the time, formed the regular weapon of the Spanish in- 
fantry, were mounting .to the assault of both breaches, 
driving citizens and soldiers before that forest of steel. 

Heinrich Scharfenstein, for the moment proprietor of the 
mace, saw that this short heavy weapon would be almost 
useless against the Spanish pikes ten feet long; he hung his 
mace to his belt, and, without ever slackening his course, 
picked up a huge block of stone lying on the rampart, and 
ran with this enormous mass to the breach, crying, "Look 

It was the breach at which Yvonnet was fighting. 


The latter saw him, and divined his intention. With 
a sweep of his sword he kept back his comrades, and gave 
free course to the Spaniards who were mounting the breach; 
but, the moment they were half-way up on the wall, the 
German giant made his appearance on the top of the breach, 
raised above his head the block he had until now carried 
on his shoulder, and, combining all the impetus of his 
strength with the natural weight of- the projectile, he 
launched it on the first ranks of the Spaniards with a 
violence that no catapult ever constructed could surpass. 

The rock descended, bounding through the dense col- 
umn, breaking, crushing, pulverizing everything it met on 
its way. 

Then, through the road opened for him, Heinrich rushed 
with his terrible mace, and, striking right and left, soon 
made an end of those whom the gigantic block had spared 
or had only half reached. 

In less than ten minutes this breach was cleared of the 

Franz had also wrought deeds equally marvellous. 

He, too, had cried to the soldiers and citizens to look 
out, and at his voice their ranks had opened; then with his 
great two-handed sword he began to mow down that harvest 
of lances, with every stroke cutting off five or six pike- 
heads, as easily as Tarquin, in the garden of Gabiae, hewed 
off the heads of the poppies in presence of his son's mes- 
senger. Then, when he had now before him men armed 
with sticks only, he flung himself into the Spanish ranks, 
and began mowing down men with the same fury he had 
until now shown in mowing down lances. 

Consequently, the Spaniards were baffled at this point also. 

But an unforeseen incident was very nearly making 
Franz lose all the fruit of the glorious succor he had just 
brought to the people of Saint- Quentin. 

A man, more ardent even than himself after the human 
quarry,, slipped under his arm, shouting, "Battle!" and 
rushed in pursuit of the Spaniards. 


It was Malemort, who, after regaining consciousness, had 
swallowed a bottle of wine given him by Gudule, and at 
once returned to the charge. 

Unfortunately, two or three of those he was pursuing, 
seeing that they were followed by only a single man, turned 
round, and although, as the heads of their pikes had been 
lopped off, their only weapons were a sort of stick, one of 
them with a blow of his stick knocked down and utterly 
stunned Malemort. 

Citizens and soldiers uttered a cry of regret; they be- 
lieved the brave adventurer dead. Luckily Franz had 
made certain observations on the thickness of his com- 
rade's skull. He ran up to him, with one stroke of his 
formidable sword split the head of the Spaniard, who was 
about to finish Malemort with his dagger, took his com- 
panion by the foot, and hurried with him to the breach, 
where he flung him. Then Malemort began to open his 
eyes, murmuring, "Battle!" in the arms of Lactance, who 
ran up with his Jacobins. 

Behind the monks came the admiral, at the head of a 
small band of select arquebusiers ; these opened such a well- 
directed fire on the exterior boulevard and on such houses 
as still remained standing, that the Spaniards were forced 
to get under cover, and for some time kept very quiet. 

The admiral then investigated the condition of affairs: 
the loss had been very great, and the Faubourg d'Isle 
escaped being carried by storm only by a very narrow 
chance. Many captains did their best to persuade the ad- 
miral to abandon this point, the defence of which had so far 
cost the garrison and the citizens combined a loss of over 
threescore men; but Coligny was firm: he was convinced 
that the prolongation of the siege, perhaps the safety of 
the city, depended on the occupation of this suburb. 

He gave orders that every effort should be made during 
the approaching night to repair the two breaches and do 
whatever else could be done for the safety of the quarter. 

The Jacobins, whose sombre monastic habits rendered 


them less noticeable in the darkness, were assigned to this 
duty, which they performed with the impassive courage 
of monastic devotion. 

As a nocturnal attack was feared, the arquebusiers 
watched on the rampart; while, to give the alarm, in 
case the enemy might think of turning the old wall, sen- 
tries were stationed at intervals of twenty yards along 
the entire line of the marshes of the Somme. 

It was a terrible night for the city of Saint- Quentin, this 
night of the 3d and 4th of August a night when it had to 
bewail the loss of its first dead ! 

So every one watched over his house and quarter with 
the same zeal with which the sentries watched over the 
Faubourg d'Isle. 

The poor inhabitants of the faubourg, understanding that 
the hottest part of the attack and defence would be there, 
were quitting their houses, dragging after them in carts or 
hand- barrows their most valuable possessions. Among the 
emigrants who abandoned the faubourg for the city was 
Gruillaume Pauquet, whose brother Jean offered him the 
hospitality of his house, situated at the angle made by 
the Eue du Yieux-Marche* and the Eue des Arbaletriers. 

His daughter Grudule, still stunned by the events of the 
day, entered the city, leaning on his arm; she turned her 
head from time to time, saying to herself it was from her 
sorrow at seeing abandoned to certain destruction the house 
in which she was born, but in reality to make sure that the 
handsome Yvonnet was not losing sight of her. 

In fact, Yvonnet was following, at a reasonable distance, 
the bourgeois, his daughter, and the weavers whom Jean 
Pauquet had lent his brother to help him in transporting 
his furniture, and who were conscientiously acquitting them- 
selves of their duty. 

It was, then, a great consolation for poor Grudule to see 
the young man crossing Saint- Quentin through its entire 
length, bisecting the square of the Hotel de Yille, follow- 
ing the Eue Sainte- Marguerite, the Eue du Yieux-Marche, 


and, at the corner of the Rue aux Pourceaux, saw him enter 
her uncle's house, known by its sign of the Navette couronnee. 

Under pretence of great fatigue and the pretence was 
plausible after such a day Gudule asked leave to retire at 
once to her room, and she was permitted to do so without 
further remark. 

Gudule really began to believe that there was a special 
providence for lovers when she saw that the lodging in- 
tended by her uncle for her and her father was a kind 
of little pavilion, forming the angle of the garden, and 
opening on the road running along the rampart. 

So as soon as she found herself alone in her new domi- 
cile, her first care was to extinguish the lamp, as if she had 
gone to bed, and open the window, in order to explore the 
neighborhood, and see what facility this window could offer 
to a nimble climber. 

The facility was great : this portion of the rampart, which 
extended between the gate of the Vieux-Marche and the 
tower Dameuse, was certainly the most deserted in the city. 
A rope-ladder eight or ten feet high would perform for the 
pavilion of the Rue des Arbaletriers the same office per- 
formed by the post at the house in the Faubourg d'Isle. 

It is true the partitions separating the room of Grudule 
from the room of Guillaume were very slight, and the slight- 
est noise in her chamber would be likely to arouse paternal 
suspicion; but, the ladder of ropes once suitably fixed, what 
should hinder Gudule from descending on the rampart in- 
stead of Yvonnet mounting to her chamber ? 

By this arrangement either the lovers would have very 
bad luck, or the chamber, remaining solitary, would be 
necessarily noiseless and voiceless. 

Gudule was plunged into all these strategetical combina- 
tions which for the moment, made of her a tactician almost 
as able as the admiral himself, when she saw a shadow glide 
along the garden wall. 

Yvonnet was also engaged in a tour of explorations, and 
reconnoitring the new field of battle on which he was to 


manoeuvre. It was not a siege difficult to make, was this 
of Maitre Pauquet's house, particularly for a man who, like 
our adventurer, had a spy in the place. 

Consequently, everything was arranged for the following 
night without any difficulty. 

Then, as the footsteps of Gruillaume Pauquet were heard 
on the staircase, falling a little heavy on account of the fa- 
tigue of the day, Gudule closed her window, and YVonnet 
disappeared through the Rue Saint- Jean. 


DAYBREAK found the admiral on the rampart. Far 
from being cast down by the check of the evening 
before, Graspard de Coligny decided that a fresh 
attempt should be made. 

In his opinion, the enemy was aware that the city had 
received a reinforcement, but was utterly ignorant of its 
extent. They must try to convince the Spaniards that 
this reinforcement was much larger than it was in reality. 

Emmanuel Philibert might thus be led to undertake a 
regular siege, if he were forced to believe that the city 
could not be taken by a surprise ; now a regular siege was 
a respite for ten days, for a fortnight, perhaps for a month, 
and during that period the constable would make an attempt 
to relieve them, or the king would have leisure to adopt the 
measures required by the circumstances. 

He therefore summoned M. de Theligny, the young lieu- 
tenant of the Dauphin's Company. 

This officer presented himself immediately. He had done 
wonders the preceding evening at the Faubourg d'Isle, and 
yet had escaped without a wound; so that the soldiers, see- 
ing him emerge without a scratch from a fusillade of balls, 


from the midst of swords and lances, had baptized him the 

He approached the admiral, gay and smiling, like a man 
who has just done his duty, and is ready to do it again. The 
admiral led him behind the parapet of one of the towers. 

"M. de Theligny, " he said, "do you see yon Spanish, post 
well from here ?" 

Theligny made a sign that he saw it perfectly. 

"Well, it seems to me it could be easily surprised with 
thirty or forty troopers. Order out thirty or forty men of 
your company, put a safe man at their head, and carry that 
post for me. 7 ' 

"But, M. de Coligny," asked Theligny, smiling, "why 
should I not be that safe man myself who is to command 
the sortie ? I confess I believe every one of my officers to 
be a safe man; but I am also pretty certain, for very differ- 
ent reasons, that I am a safe man myself. ' ' 

The admiral laid a hand on his shoulder. 

"My dear Theligny," he said, "men of your character 
are rare; they ought not, therefore, to be exposed to the 
risk of falling in a mere skirmish. Give me your word of 
honor that you will not command this sortie, or I remain 
on the rampart, half dead with fatigue though I am. ' ' 

"If that is the case, M. 1'Amiral, " said Theligny, bow- 
ing, "retire, take some repose, and allow me to conduct 
this enterprise: I pledge you my word not to leave the 
city gate." 

"I count on your word, monsieur," said Coligny, 

Then, as if he wished to have it understood that the 
gravity of his voice and face was only due to this recom- 
mendation not to leave the city 

"As for myself, my dear Theligny, " he added, "I do 
not intend returning to the governor's palace, as it is too 
far from here; I shall go to M. Jarnac's, throw myself on a 
bed, and sleep for an hour or two. You'll find me there." 

"Rest easy, M. 1'Amiral," replied Theligny; "I watch." 


The admiral descended the rampart in front of the tower 
of Ghiise, and entered into the second house of the Eue de 
Kemicourt, which was the one inhabited by M. de Jarnac. 

Theligny followed him with his eyes; then, turning 
toward an ensign 

''Thirty or forty men of goodwill of the Company of 
the Dauphin!" he said. 

"You shall have them on the instant, lieutenant!" 
replied the ensign. 

"How can that be? I did not give any order until 
now. ' ' 

"It is true; but M. de Coligny's words were caught on 
the wing by a person who happened to be near you. This 
person at once ran to the barracks, shouting, 'Dauphins! 
Dauphins ! to battle !' " 

"And what sort of a man is this who has so well exe- 
cuted my orders before they were given?" 

"By my faith," replied the ensign, laughing, "he looks 
much more like a devil than a man: the half of his face is 
covered with a bloody bandage, his hair is burned down to 
the skull, his cuirass is full of holes before and behind, and 
his clothes are in rags!" 

"Ah! very well," said Theligny; "I know the fellow. 
You are right: he is not a man, he is a devil!" 

' ' And look, lieutenant, there he is, ' ' said the ensign. 

And he pointed to a horseman coming at full gallop from 
the gate of Isle. 

It was Malemort, half burned, half drowned, half stunned 
in the sortie of the evening before, and who, feeling only the 
better for it all, was insisting on a new sortie. 

At the same time, from the opposite side that is to say, 
debouching on the Rue du Billon, at the extremity of which 
was a barracks a little band of forty horsemen was ad- 

With the activity which distinguished him when there 
was question of giving or receiving blows, Malemort had 
found time to run to the quarter, make known the inten- 


tions of the admiral, gain the gate of Isle, saddle his horse, 
and return to the gate of Bemicourt, where he arrived, as 
we see, at the same time as the horsemen of the Dauphin's 

All the return he asked for the zeal and activity he had 
just displayed was the favor of being allowed to form part 
of the expedition, and this was granted him. 

Moreover, he had declared that if he were not allowed 
to join the principal sortie, he would make one on his own 
account; and if the gates were not opened for him, he would 
jump down from the rampart. 

Only Theligny, who knew what he was from having seen 
him at work the evening before, advised him not to separate 
from the principal body and to charge in the ranks. 

Malemort promised all he was asked to do. 

The. gate was opened, and the little troop issued forth. 

But no sooner was Malemort outside of the gate than he 
rode in a straight line across the country at a furious gallop, 
and shouting "Battle!" being carried away by the fury 
which possessed him, and not being able to restrict him- 
self to the road followed by his companions, which, under 
cover of trees and from the favorable lay of the ground, was 
to bring the forty horsemen quite close to the Spanish 

During this time the admiral, as he had expressed his 
intention of doing, had retired to the house of M. de Jarnac, 
and thrown himself on a bed; but, harassed by a sort of pre- 
sentiment; and, in spite of his fatigue, not being able to 
sleep, he got up at the end of half an hour, and, thinking 
he heard cries from the rampart, he seized his sword and 
scabbard and went out hastily. 

He had scarcely taken twenty steps in the Eue de Remi- 
court when he saw MM. de Luzarches and de Jarnac run- 
ning toward him. It was easy guessing from their alarmed 
appearance that something serious had occurred. 

"Ah!" said M. de Jarnac, "you know already?" 

"Know what?" asked Coligny. 


The two officers looked at each other. 

"You did not know," said M. de Luzarches; "why, then, 
did you come out?" 

' ' I could not sleep ; I felt a kind of presentiment. When 
I heard cries I rose, and so here I am. ' ' 

"Come, then!" 

And the two officers rapidly ascended the rampart with 
the admiral. 

The rampart was thronged with spectators. 

This is what had taken place. 

The premature attack of Malemort had given the alarm. 
The Spanish post was more numerous than had been im- 
agined; the soldiers and officers of the Dauphin's Company, 
who thought they were going to surprise the enemy, found 
the enemy on horseback, and double their number. At this 
sight the charge slackened; some horsemen turned rein, the 
cowardly abandoning the brave. The latter were engaged 
with forces so superior in numbers that without reinforce- 
ments they must give way. Theligny forgot his word 
pledged to the admiral: with no weapon but his sword, 
he jumped on the first horse within his reach, dashed 
through the gate, and called on those who had turned 
rein not to desert their companions; some of them rallied 
to him, and with nine or ten men he threw himself into the 
middle of the Spaniards, hoping to make a diversion. 

An instant after, all that was left of the forty troopers 
was flying toward the city. 

Their number was diminished by a third, and M. de 
Theligny was not with them. 

It was then MM. de Jarnac and de Luzarches, judging 
it necessary to inform the admiral of this new check, had 
run to the house in which he was supposed to be taking 
a little rest, and had met him half-way from it. 

All three were now on the rampart commanding the 
theatre of the catastrophe. 

Coligny questioned the fugitives ; they told him what we 
have just related. 


They could tell nothing certain about M. de Theligny; 
they had seen him fall on the Spaniards like a thunderbolt, 
and strike the Spanish officer on the face with his sword; 
but he was then at once surrounded, and as he did not carry 
any offensive weapon, he fell at the end of a few seconds, 
pierced with wounds. 

But one soldier insisted that, all weaponless and wounded 
as M. de Theligny was, that brave officer was still alive, be- 
cause he saw him make a movement as if to call for help 
at the moment he was galloping by him. 

Although his hope was a feeble one, the admiral ordered 
the officers of the Dauphin's Company to make an effort, at 
any risk, to bring back M. de Theligny, dead or alive. 

The officers wanted nothing better than the chance of 
avenging their comrade; they were already making for the 
barracks, when a sort of Goliath issued from the crowd, 
and, bearing his hand to his helmet, said 

"Excuse me, Meinherr Admiral; there is no need of a 
company to find the poor lieutenant, If you like, Meinherr 
Admiral, I and my nephew Franz will go in search of him, 
and are sure to bring him back, dead or alive!" 

The admiral turned toward the author of this worthy 
proposal: he was one of those adventurers he had taken 
into his service without reckoning too much on them, but 
who, in the few encounters he witnessed them in, had cer- 
tainly done noble service. 

He recognized Heinrich Sclmrfenstein ; four paces be- 
hind him Franz was standing, like his shadow, in the same 

He had seen both the evening before, each defending 
one of the breaches of the Faubourg d'Isle; a glance had 
been enough to enable him to judge of their value. 

"Yes, my brave fellow, I accept. What do you ask for 

"I ask a horse for myself, and another for my nephew 

"But that is not what I mean." 


"Well, let us see. Yes, I want two men to ride be- 
hind us.'' 

"Be it so; what next?" 

"Next? That's all. Except it would be well to have 
the horses fat and the men lean. ' ' 

"Well, you can choose the men and horses yourself." 

"Grood!" said Heinrich. 

' ' But I meant about the reward. ' ' 

"Oh! as for the money part, that's Procope's affair." 

"Procope has nothing to do with this," said the admiral. 
"I promise for Theligny alive, a gratuity of fifty crowns, 
and for Theligny dead, a gratuity of twenty-five." 

"Oh, oh!" said Heinrich, laughing with his big laugh, 
"I'll search as long as you like at such a price as that!" 

"Well, then, go," said the admiral, "and lose no 

"At once, Meinherr Admiral! at once!" 

And, in fact, Heinrich began at once to select the horses. 
The ones he preferred were the heavy cavalry animals, 
stoutly built, vigorous, and solid on their limbs. 
Then he began the inspection of men. 

Suddenly he uttered an exclamation of joy; he had just 
perceived Lactance on one side, and Fracasso on the other. 
A pentient and a poet were the two leanest things Heinrich 
knew in the world. 

The admiral did not know what to think of all these 
preparations; but he felt he might rely, if not on the intel- 
ligence, at least on the instinct of the two giants. The four 
adventurers descended the talus of the rampart, disappeared 
under the vault of the gate of Remicourt; then, a moment 
after, the gate being opened for them, they reappeared, two 
on each horse, but taking all the precautions as to shade 
and shelter possible advantages neglected by Malemort. 

Then they were lost behind a little eminence rising to 
the right of the mill of La Couture. 

It would be impossible to express the interest that at- 
tached to this expedition of four men going to dispute 


a dead body with a whole army, for the opinion of the least 
pessimistic was now that Theligny must be really dead. 

So that the silence observed by the three or four hundred 
persons packed on the rampart as long as the four adven- 
turers were in sight continued after they disappeared behind 
the hill. 

It almost looked as if this crowd feared, by a word, by 
a breath, by a movement, to awaken the watchfulness of 
the enemy. 

At the end of an instant a volley was heard from eight 
or ten arquebuses. 

Every heart gave a bound. 

Almost at the same moment Franz Scharfenstein reap- 
peared, carrying, not a man, but two men, in his arms. 

Behind him the cavalry and infantry of the expedition 
was defending the retreat. 

The cavalry was composed only of a horse and a man; 
doubtless, one of the two horses had been slain by the dis- 
charge they had just heard. 

The infantry consisted of Fracasso and Lactance, each 
armed with an arquebuse. 

Eight or ten Spanish troopers harassed the retreat. But 
when the infantry was too closely pressed, Heinrich made 
a charge and saved it by the terrible blows he dealt with 
his club ; on the other hand, if it was the cavalry that was 
too closely pressed, two shots fired from two arquebuses 
with remarkable symmetry and unity, laid two Spaniards 
low, and gave Heinrich time to breathe. 

However, Franz was gaining ground, and in a few 
seconds, thanks to his enormous strides, he found himself 
beyond the reach of all pursuit. 

There was a cry of joy and admiration when he began 
climbing the talus, bearing in his arms these two bodies, 
living men or corpses, as a nurse would have borne two 

He laid one half of his burden at the feet of the admiral. 

"That is yours," he said; "he is not quite dead." 


"And the other?" he said, pointing to the second 
wounded man. 

"Oh, the other," said Franz, "doesn't matter. It's 
Malemort. He'll be himself in a minute. He is the devil 
himself ; nothing can kill him. ' ' 

And he laughed that laugh peculiar to uncle and nephew, 
which might have been called the laugh of the Scharfen- 

At this moment, the three other adventurers, cavalry 
and infantry, amid wild cheering, entered the city. 

Theligny, as Franz Scharfenstein said, was not yet dead, 
although pierced by seven sword- thrusts and three balls. 
His condition was easily seen, the Spaniards having stripped 
him to his shirt and left him where he fell, being quite cer- 
tain he would never rise again. 

He was carried immediately to M. de Jarnac's, and laid 
on the bed, where the admiral an hour before had not been 
able to rest, being disturbed by a presentiment of what had 

There, as if the wounded man had only waited for this 
moment, he opened his eyes, looked around him, and recog- 
nized the admiral. 

"A doctor! a doctor!" cried Coligny, quickly, grasping 
at a hope which he had entirely given up until now; but 
Theligny stretched out his hand to him 

"Thanks, M. 1'Amiral," he said; "God permits me to 
open my eyes once more and recover my voice in order 
to ask you very humbly to pardon me for having dis- 
obeyed you." 

The admiral stopped him. 

"Ah, my dear Theligny," said he, "it is not for you to 
ask my pardon, for if you have disobeyed me, it has been 
through excessive zeal for the king's service; but if you are 
as bad as you think, and if you have anything to ask, ask 
it of God." 

"Oh, monsieur!" said Theligny, "I have happily to ask 
pardon of God only for those faults which a gentleman may 

(14) Vol. 20 


confess ; while by disobeying you I have committed a grave 
offence against discipline. Forgive me then, M. 1'Amiral, 
so that I may die tranquil. ' ' 

M. de Coligny, a warm appreciator of all true courage, 
felt the tears coming to his eyes on hearing this young 
officer, who was on the point of abandoning a life so full 
of fair promise, apparently only troubled by a moment's 
forgetfulness of the orders of his general. 

' ' Since you insist on it, ' ' he said, ' ' I pardon you a fault 
of which every brave soldier ought to be proud, and if this 
alone disturbs your last hour, die tranquilly and in peace, 
as died the Chevalier Bayard, the model of us all!" 

And he bent down to imprint a kiss on the pale brow of 
the dying young soldier. 

The latter made an effort, and rose. 

The lips of the admiral touched the forehead of the 
young officer, who murmured 


And he fell back, breathing a sigh. 

It was his last. 

"Gentlemen," said Coligny, wiping away a tear, and 
addressing those who surrounded him, "there is a brave 
soldier the less in the world. May Grod grant us all such 
a death!" 



GLORIOUS as had been the two checks encountered 
by the admiral, they were not the less checks, and 
showed him the absolute necessity of being promptly 
reinforced in face of such a numerous army and such active 

Consequently he took advantage of the fact that the ab- 
sence of the English army still left one entire side of the 
city free to send messengers to his uncle, the constable, in 


order to obtain the largest reinforcements possible. For 
this purpose he summoned Maldent and Yvonnet to his 
presence Yvonnet, who had been the guide of poor 
Theligny, and Maldent, who had been his own guide. 

The constable must be either at Ham or at La Fere ; one 
of the two messengers would therefore go to Ham, the other 
to La Fere, to carry news to the constable and point out the 
best means of succoring Saint- Quentin. 

This means, which the absence of the English army ren- 
dered easy, consisted simply in despatching a strong column 
by the Savy highway, which terminates at the Faubourg 
Ponthoille; while as soon as it made its appearance, Coligny 
would make a sortie from the opposite side of the city and 
keep the attention of the enemy engaged until the advancing 
column made its way safely into Saint- Quentin. 

The two messengers started the same evening, bearing 
each a pressing request, the one on the part of Malemort, 
the other on that of the despairing Ghidule. 

Malemort had received a sword-thrust in his side ; luck- 
ily it had passed through an old scar a thing which almost 
always happened to him, for there was hardly a part of his 
body that did not show a cicatrice. Malemort entreated 
his comrade to bring back with him certain herbs absolutely 
necessary for the renewal of that famous balm of Ferragus, 
of which he consumed such awful quantities. 

Gludule, who had received through the heart a thrust in 
a certain sense more painful and deadly than that of Male- 
mort, recommended Yvonnet to watch with the greatest care 
over a life with which hers was bound up. While waiting 
for the return of her beloved Yvonnet, she would pass all 
her nights at her window looking out upon the rampart of 
the Vieux-Marche. 

Our two adventurers left through the gate of Ponthoille; 
then, when they had travelled together nearly half a league 
on the road to Ham, Yvonnet struck across the country to 
reach the road to La Fere, while Maldent continued on that 
of Ham. 


Yvonnet passed the Somme between Gauchy and Gruois, 
and got on the La Fere route at Cerisy. 

As it is at La Fere the constable is staying, we shall 
follow Yvonnet rather than Maldent. 

At three in the morning, Yvonnet knocked at the gate 
of the city, which refused obstinately to open; however, the 
porter, learning that a night visitor had arrived from Saint- 
Quentin, at last drew it back sufficiently to let him slip 

The order had been given by the constable to admit 
without delay any messenger coming from his nephew, 
and bring him before him, whatever the hour might be. 

At half -past three in the morning, the constable was 
roused from slumber. 

The old soldier was lying in a bed a luxury he rarely 
allowed himself during a campaign; but he had under the 
pillow his constable's sword, and on a chair close to 
the bed, his armor and helmet; which indicated that on 
the slightest alarm he would be able to attack an enemy 
or defend himself. 

Those who served under him were, moreover, accus- 
tomed to be summoned at all hours of the day or night, 
either to give their opinion or to receive his orders. 

Yvonnet was received into the chamber of the indefati- 
gable old man, who, knowing a messenger had arrived, was 
waiting for this messenger, half raised up and leaning on 
his elbow. 

Hardly did he hear the footsteps of Yvonnet than, with 
his ordinary brutality, he said 

"Come forward here at once, rascal!" 

It was not a time for the display of tender sensibilities. 
Yvonnet came forward. 

"Closer, closer," said the constable, "until I see the 
whites of your eyes, knave ! I like to look at those I am 
speaking to. ' ' 

Yvonnet advanced to the side of the bed. 

"Here I am, monseigneur, " said he. 


' ' All ! there you are ; how fortunate ! ' ' 

He took his lamp and gazed on the adventurer with an 
expression that did not show the inspection was favorable. 

"I have seen that sharper's face somewhere already," 
said the constable, speaking to himself. 

Then to Yvonnet 

"Are you going to give me the trouble of finding out 
where I have met you, rascal? Come, tell me at once; 
you must remember.'* 

"And why should I remember better than you, mon- 
seigneur?" not being able to resist the temptation of ad- 
dressing a question in his turn to the constable. 

"Because," replied the old soldier, "you see a constable 
of France by chance once in your life, while I see every day 
a heap of rogues like you." 

' ' You are correct, monseigneur, ' ' replied Yvonnet. 
"Well, you saw me in presence of the king." 

"What!" said the constable ; "in presence of the king? 
You visit the king, then, villain?" 

"I have done so at least on the day I had the honor 
of seeing you there, M. le Connetable, ' ' answered Yvonnet, 
with the most exquisite politeness. 

' ' Hum ! ' ' muttered the constable. ' ' In fact, I remember ; 
you were with a young officer whom my nephew sent to 
the king." 

41 With M. de Theligny." 

"That's so, " said the constable. "And are things going 
on all right yonder ?" 

"On the contrary, M. le Connetable, things are going all 

"How all wrong? Take care of what you say, rascal!' 

"I am about to say the truth, monseigneur. The day 
before yesterday we had, after a sortie at the Faubourg 
d'Isle, about sixty men placed Jwrs de combat. Yesterday, 
in trying to carry a Spanish position in front of the Ke'mi- 
court gate, we lost fifteen troopers of the Dauphin's Com- 
pany and their lieutenant, M. de Theligny 


"Theligny!" interrupted the constable, who believed 
himself invulnerable, after surviving so many engage- 
ments, battles and skirmishes. "Theligny let himself be 
killed? The fool! What next?" 

"The next, M. le Connetable, is a letter from M. 1'Ami- 
ral, asking speedy succor. ' ' 

"You should have begun with that, knave!" said the 
constable, tearing the letter out of the hand of the ad- 

And he read it, all the time interrupting himself to give 
orders, as was his habit 

" 'I shall hold the Faubourg d'Isle as long as I can ' 

"And he will do well, mordieu! Some one send me 
M. Dandelot! 

" ' for from the heights of the faubourg a battery of 
artillery can sweep the Remicourt rampart its entire length, 
from the Tower a 1'Eau to the Red Tower.' 

"Tell Marechal de Saint- Andre to come here! 

" 'But in order to defend the Faubourg d'Isle and the 
other points threatened, I shall need a reinforcement of two 
thousand men at least, having in reality but five or six 
hundred under my orders.' 

"Corbleuf he must have four thousand! I wish to see 
the Due d'Enghien at once! By what right do these gen- 
tlemen sleep when I am awake? M. d'Enghien immedi- 
ately! Let us see what my nephew has to say further! 

" 'I have only sixteen pieces of cannon and forty can- 
noniers; I have only fifty or sixty arquebuses; finally, I 
have only ammunition for a fortnight and provisions for 
three weeks.' 

"How! is all this true?" cried the constable. 

"The exact truth every word, monseigneur, " replied 
Yvonnet, graciously. 

"Indeed! I should like to see a scoundrel of your kind 
give the lie to my nephew. Hum ! ' ' 

And the constable glared ferociously on Yvonnet. 

Yvonnet bowed and took a step backward. 


"Why do you step back?" asked the constable. 

"Because I think monseigneur has no more questions to 
ask me. ' ' 

" You are mistaken. Come here!" 

Yvonnet resumed his place. 

"How do the bourgeois conduct themselves?" asked the 

' ' Most excellently, monseigneur. ' ' 

"The rascals! I should like to see them do other- 

' ' Even the very monks have taken up arms. ' ' 

"The hypocrites! And you say they fight?" 

"Like lions. And as to the women, monseigneur " 

"They whine and weep and tremble, eh? It is all the 
jades are good for. ' ' 

"On the contrary, monseigneur, they encourage the com- 
batants, nurse the wounded, and bury the dead. ' ' 

"The trollops!" 

At this moment the door opened, and a gentleman all 
armed, except his head, which was covered with a velvet 
cap, made his appearance on the threshold. 

"Ah, come here, M. Dandelot!" said the constable. 
"Here is your brother making such an outcry in his city 
of Saint- Quentin that one would think somebody was going 
to cut his throat. ' ' 

"Monseigneur," said M. Dandelot, laughing, "if your 
nephew, my brother, is making such an outcry, you know 
him well enough to be sure it is not from fear. ' ' 

"Oh, yes, morbleuf I know something is wrong, and 
that's what annoys me. So I have summoned you and M. 
le Marechal de Saint- Andre. " 

"Here I am, monseigneur," interrupted the marshal, 
appearing in turn at the entrance to the room. 

"Good, good, marshal; but M. d'Enghien is apparently 
not coming. ' ' 

"Excuse me, monseigneur," said the duke, entering; 

"here I am." 


"Tripes et boyaux, messieurs!" said the constable, hurl- 
ing his rough oath the more violently at them because, as 
all seemed to be performing their duty, he had no excuse 
for gratifying the habitual ill- humor that formed the basis 
of his character; "tripes et boyaux, gentlemen, we are not 
in Capua, to sleep as if nothing was the matter!" 

' ' The accusation does not touch me, ' ' said the marshal, 
"for I have been up already." 

"And I," said the Dae d'Enghien, "have not yet been 
to bed." 

"No; I was speaking of M. Dandelot." 

"Of me!" said Dandelot; "pardon me, monseigneur; I 
have been making the rounds, and have been here before 
these gentlemen. I was on horseback when I met them, 
and have come here on horseback." 

"Then I suppose I must be speaking of myself," said 
Montmorency. "It seems I am now old and good for 
nothing, since I am the only one who has been in bed. 
Tete et sang!" 

"But, constable," returned Dandelot, laughing, "who 
the devil has said such a thing?" 

"No one, I hope; for I would break his jaw, as I broke 
the jaw of that ill-omened prophet I met on the highway 
the other day. But we have something else to attend to. 
We have to see how we can help this poor Coligny who has 
fifty thousand men pegging away at him. Fifty thousand 
men ! What do you say to it ? In my opinion, my nephew 
is afraid and sees double. ' ' 

The three officers smiled at the same time and with the 
same expression. 

' ' If my brother says fifty thousand men, ' ' said Dandelot, 
"there are fifty thousand men, monseigneur." 

' ' And more likely sixty thousand than fifty thousand, ' ' 
said the marshal. 

"And what do you think, M. d'Enghien?" 

"Of course the same as those gentlemen do, M. le Con- 


"Then you are as usual of an opinion directly opposed 
to mine?" 

"No, monseigneur, " replied Dandelot; "but we are of 
the opinion that the admiral tells the truth." 

"Well, are you ready to run some risk to help the 

"I am ready to risk my life," answered Dandelot. 

"And we also," replied the Marechal de Saint- Andre 
and the Due d'Enghien in the same tone. 

' ' Then all is well, ' ' said the constable. 

After this, turning round toward the antechamber, in 
which there was a great noise 

"Oorbleuf" he exclaimed, "where does all that racket 
come from ?" 

"Monseigneur," said one of the sub-officers of the guard, 
"it is a man who has just been arrested at the gate of 

"Off with him to prison, then!" 

"It is thought he is a soldier disguised as a peasant." 

"Have him hanged!" 

"But he appeals to M. 1'Amiral, and says he has come 
from him. ' ' 

"Has he a letter or safe- conduct?" 

' ' No, and that is why we thought he might be a spy. ' ' 

"Let him be broken on the wheel!" 

"An instant!" cried a voice in the antechamber; "even 
M. le Connetable cannot break people on the wheel in that 
fashion. ' ' 

And after some clamor and a noise indicating there had 
been a struggle, a man rushed from the antechamber into 
the room. 

"Ah!" cried Yvonnet, "take care of what you do, mon- 
seigneur ; it is Maldent. ' ' 

"Maldent; what has that to do with it?" asked the 

"It is the second messenger sent by M. 1'Amiral, and 
who, having set out from Saint- Quentin at the same time 


as I, arrives naturally two hours after me, having come 
by Ham." 

And in fact it was Maldent, who, not finding the con- 
stable at Ham, had taken a horse and galloped to La Fere, 
fearing that some obstacle might have stopped Yvonnet on 
the road. 

Now how was it that Maldent, who had started dressed 
as a soldier, and with a letter from the admiral, arrived 
dressed as a peasant and without a letter ? It is a problem 
which our readers, with their customary perspicacity, will 
be able to solve in one of the following chapters. 



LET our readers not be surprised at seeing us follow, 
with a minuteness belonging to the historian rather 
than to the romancer, all the details, every point 
in the attack and defence, of that glorious siege of Saint- 
Quentin a siege equally glorious for besieger and besieged. 

Moreover, in our opinion, the glory of a country is made 
up of its defeats quite as much as of its victories; the glory 
of our triumphs is enhanced by that of our reverses. 

What people, in fact, would not have succumbed after 
Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt, Pa via, Saint- Quentin, or Water- 
loo ? But the hand of God was over France, and after each 
fall France rose greater than she was before. 

It was after bending eight times under his cross that 
Jesus saved the world. 

France, under this relation, may be considered, if we are 
permitted to say so, the Christ of nations. 

Saint- Quentin is nevertheless one of the stations on her 
way of the cross. 

Her cross was the monarchy. 

Happily behind the monarchy was the people. 


This time again, behind the fallen monarchy, we are 
about to see the people standing. 

During the night following the departure of Yvonnet 
and Maldent, the admiral was warned that the sentinels 
mounting guard at the Faubourg d'Isle believed they heard 
the sound of sappers at work. 

Coligny rose and ran to the threatened point. 

The admiral was an experienced captain. He leaped 
from his horse, lay down on the rampart, placed his ear to 
the ground, and listened. 

Then, rising 

"It is not," he said, "the noise of sappers; it is the roll- 
ing of cannon. The enemy is about to erect a battery 
against us." 

The officers looked at one another. 

Then Jarnac advanced and said 

"You know, M. 1'Amiral, that it is the opinion of every 
one the place is not tenable ?" 

The admiral smiled. 

"It is mine also, gentlemen," said he; "and yet, you 
see, we have held it for the last five days. If, when urged 
by you, I had retreated, the Faubourg d'Isle would have 
been in the hands of the Spaniards for the last five days, 
and all their preparations for attacking the city on this side 
completed. Now let us not forget this, gentlemen: every 
day gained is as useful to us as are the last breathing spells 
to the stag pursued by the hunters. ' ' 

"Then your opinion is, monseigneur ?" 

' ' My opinion is that we have done on this side all that it 
is humanly possible to do, and that we must carry in another 
direction our energy, devotion, and vigilance. 

The officers acquiesced with a bow. 

"At daybreak," continued Coligny, "the Spanish can- 
non will be formed in battery, and the firing will begin; at 
daybreak, therefore, all the artillery we have here, as well 
as all the ammunition, balls, bales of wool, carts, hand- 
barrows, pickaxes, and pioneers' tools, must be in the city. 


One part of our men will attend to this; another will pile 
up fagots and fascines in the houses, and set them on fire; 
I shall myself protect the retreat of our soldiers and cut the 
bridges behind them. ' ' 

Then when he saw around him the poor unfortunates 
to whom these houses belonged, and who were listening to 
him with an expression of despair 

"My friends," said he, "if your ^houses were spared by 
us, they would be demolished by the Spaniards, who would 
use the wood and stone for constructing masks and digging 
their trenches ; sacrifice them, therefore, in the name of your 
king and country. I assign to you the task of setting them 
on fire. ' ' 

The inhabitants of the Faubourg d'Isle looked at one 
another, exchanged some words in a low tone, and one of 
them, advancing, said 

"M. 1'Amiral, my name is Gruillaume Pauquet; you see 
my house from here. It is the largest in the quarter. I 
shall set fire to it with my own hands; and my neighbors 
and friends, here present, are prepared to do to theirs what 
I am about to do to mine. ' ' 

"Is this true, my children ?" said the admiral, with tears 
in his eyes. 

"Is what you demand for the good of the king and 
country, M. 1'Amiral?" 

"If we can only hold out for a fortnight, my friends, 
France is saved!" said Coligny. 

' ' And to hold out even for ten days, must we burn our 
houses ?" 

' ' I believe, my friends, it is necessary. ' ' 

"Then, if the houses are burned, you promise to hold 
out for ten days?" 

"I promise, my friends, to do all that a gentleman de- 
voted to my king and country can do, ' ' said the admiral. 
"Whoever speaks of surrender shall be thrown over the 
walls by me; and if I speak of surrender, do the same 
to me." 


"It is well, M. 1'Amiral,!' said one of the inhabitants 
of the faubourg ; ' ' since you order us to burn our houses, 
we are going to set them on fire." 

"But, " said a voice, "I hope the abbey of Saint- Quentin- 
en-Isle may be spared." 

The admiral turned in the direction of the voice, and 
recognized Lactance. 

" Saint- Quentin-en-Isle less than all the rest," answered 
the admiral. "The rampart of Kemicourt is commanded 
from the platform of Saint-Quentin-en-Isle; and a battery 
of cannon established there would render the defence of 
the rampart impossible." 

Lactance raised his eyes to heaven, and heaved a pro- 
found sigh. 

"Besides," continued the admiral, smiling. "Saint- 
Quentin is, above all, guardian of the city, and he will 
not take umbrage at our ruining his abbey to save his 

Then, taking advantage of this moment of goodwill 
which seemed to inspire all and each with the same devo- 
tion, he ordered the cannon to be drawn to the city, as well 
as the different objects mentioned by him, and everything 
to be done in the greatest possible silence. 

This work was begun with as much zeal, it must be 
said, as was displayed by those carrying fascines into their 
houses; men harnessed themselves cheerfully and coura- 
geously to the cannon and carts, and set to work hauling 
them into the city. 

At two in the morning all was finished; and there re- 
mained behind the old wall only the number of arquebusiers 
necessary to deceive the enemy into the belief that it was 
still defended, and the men who, with torch in hand, were 
ready to set fire to their houses. 

At daybreak, as the admiral had foreseen, the enemy 
fired the first volley. A breaching battery had been estab- 
lished during the night, and it was the noise made by the 
men forming it the admiral had heard. 



This first volley was the signal agreed on for setting fire 
to the houses. Not one of the inhabitants hesitated; each 
applied his torch, and in a moment a curtain of smoke rose 
in the sky, soon to be succeeded by a curtain of flame. 

The faubourg was burning from the church of Saint-Eloi 
to the church of Saint- Pierre- au- Canal; but in the midst of 
this immense furnace, the abbey of Saint- Quentin remained 
intact, as if some superhuman power had turned the con- 
flagration aside from it. 

Three times did citizens and soldiers and workmen, 
through fire, and over the flying bridges for the others 
had been cut down renew the attempt to destroy it, and 
three times did the attempt fail. 

The admiral from the top of the gate of Isle was watch- 
ing the progress of the flames, when Jean Pauquet, sepa- 
rating from those around him and approaching the admiral 
with his woollen cap in his hand, said 

' ' Monseigneur, an old man of the city says he has heard 
his father tell of a storehouse of powder existing in one of 
the two towers flanking the gate of Isle, if not in both. ' ' 

"Good!" said the admiral, "we must see to this. Where 
are the keys?" 

"Ah, the keys!" said Jean Pauquet, "who can know 
anything about them? The doors have not been opened 
for the last hundred years, perhaps." 

' ' Then we must get levers and crowbars to open them. ' ' 

"They are not needed," said a voice; "let me drive 
against the door, and the door will open." 

And Heinrich Scharfenstein, followed by his nephew 
Franz, advanced three steps toward Coligny. 

"Ah, it is you, my brave giant?" said the admiral. 

"Yes, I and my nephew Franz." 

"Well, push, my friend! push!" And the two Scharf- 
ensteins approached each a folding- door, buttressed him- 
self against it, and with the same mechanical action and 
the same movement, counted: 

"Mn! zwei! dreif" 


And at the word drei, each, making a mighty effort, 
drove in the leaf he was planted against, and so success- 
fully that each fell with it. 

. Only as the resistance offered by the doors was different, 
Franz fell headlong his whole length, while Heinrich was 
lucky enough to fall on his hips. 

But both rose up with their customary gravity, saying 


They entered the towers. 

One of them, as Jean Pauquet had stated, did in fact 
contain two or three thousand pounds of powder; but, as 
he had also said, this powder had been there so long that 
when the kegs were lifted they fell into dust. 

The admiral then ordered sheets to be brought and the 
powder to be transported to the arsenal. 

As soon as he saw the order was being executed, he re- 
turned to breakfast and to get a little rest, having been on 
his feet since midnight, and eaten nothing since the evening 

He had just sat down to table when it was announced 
that one of the messengers sent by him to the constable had 
returned and asked to speak to him without delay. 

It was Yvonnet. 

Yvonnet announced that the succors demanded by him 
would arrive the next day, under the command of M. Dan- 
delot, Marechal de Saint- Andre and the Due d'Enghien. 

They were to consist of four thousand foot-soldiers, who 
would follow the Savy route, as the admiral suggested, and 
enter by the Faubourg de Ponthoille. 

Maldent had remained at La Fere to act as guide to 
M. Dandelot. 

Yvonnet was at this stage of his recital and had raised 
a glass of wine poured out for him to drink to the health of 
the admiral, when all at once the earth trembled, the walls 
shook, the glass of the windows flew in pieces, and a roar 
was heard like that of a hundred pieces of cannon dis- 
charged at the same time. 


The admiral rose; Yvonnet, seized with one of his 
nervous movements, rested his glass, still full, on the table. 

At the same time a cloud passed over the city, borne by 
the west wind, and a strong stench of sulphur spread into 
the room through the broken glass. 

"Oh, the unhappy men!" cried the admiral; "they did 
not take the proper precautions, and the powder has 
blown up!" 

Immediately, without waiting for news, he left the 
house and ran to the gate of Isle. 

All the population was hurrying to the same quarter; 
it was useless for Coligny to make inquiries ; these people 
were hurrying in the direction of the noise, but were igno- 
rant of its cause. 

Coligny was not mistaken ; the interior of the tower was 
gutted and smoking like the crater of a volcano. A spark 
from the immense conflagration in the neighborhood had 
entered through an embrasure, and set fire to the terrible 

Forty or fifty persons had perished ; five officers had 

The tower offered a breach to the enemy by which 
twenty -five assailants could mount in a line. 

Fortunately, the veil of smoke and flame between the 
faubourg and city concealed this breach from the Span- 
iards. The devotion of the inhabitants, who had set fire 
to their houses, had then saved the city. 

Coligny understood the danger: he appealed to the good- 
will of all ; but the bourgeois alone responded. The soldiers 
who had been withdrawn from the faubourg had gone away 
to rest and refresh themselves. 

Among those who had done so. were the two Scharf en- 
steins ; but as their tent was only about fifty yards from the 
theatre of the event, they were among the first to answer 
the appeal of the admiral. 

Two precious auxiliaries were uncle Heinrich and nephew 
Franz under the circumstances; their herculean strength, 


their gigantic stature, made them fit for everything. They 
took off their jackets, turned up their sleeves, and became 

Three hours after, whether it were that the enemy knew 
nothing of what had occurred or was preparing another en- 
terprise, the tower was repaired without any opposition and 
rendered almost as solid as before. 

All that day it was the 7th of August passed without 
the enemy making the slightest demonstration; he seemed 
to confine himself to a simple blockade. Without doubt, he 
was awaiting the arrival of the English army. 

During the evening, the sentinels noticed some move- 
ment in the direction of the Faubourg d'Isle. 

The Spaniards of Carondelet and Julian Eomeron, taking 
advantage of the dying out of the conflagration, were begin- 
ning to appear in the faubourg and draw near the city. 

Thereupon all the watchfulness of the besieged was exer- 
cised on that side. 

In the evening at ten, the admiral called a council of the 
chief officers of the garrison; he announced that the ex- 
pected reinforcement would, in all probability, arrive that 
night. The wall must be secretly manned from Tourival to 
the gate of Ponthoille, in order to hold themselves in readi- 
ness to bring aid, if necessary, to Dandelot and his men. 

Yvonnet, who, in his capacity as messenger, had been ini- 
tiated into all these arrangements, was delighted with them, 
and as far as lay in his power for his peculiar knowledge 
of certain localities gave him considerable influence he 
pushed his nocturnal investigations in the direction of the 
Remicourt, Isle and Ponthoille gates. 

This new disposition, in fact, left the rampart of the 
Yieux-Marche entirely free from troops, except a few sen- 
tinels; and it was there, as the reader will recall, that the 
house of Jean Pauquet was situated, and especially the little 
pavilion inhabited by Mademoiselle Guclule. 

Consequently, about eleven, on one of those gloomy 
nights so esteemed and blessed by lovers on the way to 


their mistresses, and by warriors preparing a surprise, our 
adventurer, followed by Heinrich and Franz, armed, like 
him, to the teeth, was advancing cautiously through the 
Rue des Hosiers, de la Fosse, and de Saint-Jean, which lat- 
ter connects at about a hundred yards from the tower 
Dameuse with the rampart of the Yieux-Marche. 

The three adventurers followed this road because they 
knew all the space extending between the tower Dameuse 
and the gate of the Yieux-Marche was free from sentinels, 
the enemy not having yet made 'any demonstration on this side. 

The boulevard was therefore gloomy and deserted. 

Why was this band, which, in spite of its formidable 
appearance, had not any hostile appearance, composed of 
Heinrich and Franz on the one side and of Yvonnet 
on the other? 

By that natural law which decrees that in this world 
weakness must seek strength, and strength must love 

With whom, among his eight companions, was Yvonnet 
most closely united? With Heinrich and Franz. Why? 
Because they were the strongest, and he was the weakest. 

As soon as the two Scharfensteins had a moment to 
themselves, whose society did they run to seek? 

Yvonnet 's. 

Consequently, when Yvonnet needed help, whose help 
did he seek ? 

That of the two Scharfensteins. 

Under his garb, always so carefully attended to, always 
so elegant and dainty, and contrasting so strangely with the 
rough, soldierly dress of the two giants, Yvonnet, when fol- 
lowed by them, resembled some aristocratic child holding 
two mastiffs in leash. 

It was, as we have said, because of this attraction of 
weakness for strength, and this sympathy of strength for 
weakness, that on this very evening, Yvonnet asked the two 
Scharfensteins to come along with him, and that the latter, 
as usual, answered, as they rose and armed themselves 


1 ' Very willingly, Meinherr Yvonnet. ' ' 

For the two Scharfensteins addressed Yvonnet as Mein- 
herr & distinction they did not grant to any other of their 

It was because their affection for Yvonnet was mingled 
with a profound respect. 

Never did uncle or nephew presume to speak first in the 
presence of the young adventurer; no, they heard him talk 
of fine women, fine arms, fine dress, satisfied to give a nod 
of assent, or breaking into one of their big laughs, when an 
evident witticism claimed such attention. 

Where Yvonnet was going when Yvonnet said, "Come 
with me!" concerned them little; he said, "Come!" that 
was enough, and they followed this charming star of their 
fancy as satellites follow a planet. 

This evening, Yvonnet was going to his mistress ; he had 
said to the two Scharfensteins, "Come!" and, as we see, 
they came. 

But with what object, since the presence of a third party 
at such a rendezvous is always annoying, did Yvonnet ask 
for the company of the two giants ? 

In the first place, let us hasten to say that the brave 
Grermans were not troublesome witnesses. They closed one 
eye, they closed two, they closed three, they closed four, on 
a word, a sign, a gesture from their comrade, and kept 
them religiously closed until a word, a sign, or a gesture 
of their comrade allowed them to open them. 

Yvonnet brought them with him because, it will be re- 
membered, to reach the window of Grudule's pavilion he 
needed a ladder; and, instead of taking a ladder, he found 
it simpler to take the two Scharfensteins, which absolutely 
amounted to the same thing. 

The young man had, as may be imagined, a collection of 
signals, sounds and cries, by the aid of which he announced 
his arrival to his mistress ; but this evening he needed not 
signal nor sound nor cry Ghidule was at her window, ex- 
pecting him. 


Nevertheless, when she saw three men coming instead of 
one, she prudently retreated. 

But when Yvonnet separated from his companions, he 
was recognized; and the young girl, still trembling, but 
no longer frightened, came back to the window. 

Yvonnet explained in two words the danger a soldier 
ran in a besieged city walking with a ladder on his back; 
a patrol might believe he carried the ladder with the view 
of communicating with the besiegers. Once such a belief 
settled in the mind of the patrol, it would be necessary to 
have explanations with the patrol's officer, with the captain, 
perhaps with the governor, and account for the destination 
of the ladder; now, however delicately these explanations 
might be managed, the honor of Mademoiselle Gudule 
would be compromised. 

It was better, then, to bring two sure friends, on whose 
discretion he could rely, like his two comrades. 

But how would these friends take the place of a ladder ? 
This Mademoiselle Gudule had some trouble in understanding. 

Yvonnet resolved to lose no time in developing his 
theory, but to proceed at once to a demonstration. With 
this object, he called the two Scharfensteins, who, open- 
ing the immense compass of their legs, were beside him 
in three strides. 

Then he backed up the uncle against the wall, and made 
a sign to the nephew. 

In less time than it takes to relate it, Franz placed one 
foot between the joined hands of his uncle and another on 
his shoulder; then, having reached the top of the window, 
he took Mademoiselle Gudule by the waist, she regarding 
him with much curiosity all the time ; and before she could 
make a motion to defend herself a motion she would per- 
haps not have made, even if she had time for it she found 
herself borne from her chamber and placed on the boulevard 
beside Yvonnet. 

"There," said Franz, laughing, "there you have the 
young woman you asked for." 


"Thanks," said Yvonnet. 

And, drawing the arm of the young woman within his 
own, he led her to the obscurest part of the rampart. 

This was the circular summit of one of the towers, and 
protected by a parapet three feet high. 

The two Scharfensteins sat down on a stone bench lying 
along the curtain. 

It is not our intention to relate here the conversation of 
Mademoiselle G-udule and Yvonnet. They were young, and 
in love ; they had not met for three nights and three days, 
and had so much to say that a report of their quarter of an 
hour's discourse would certainly exceed the limits of this 

We say a quarter of an hour's, because at the end of a 
quarter of an hour, notwithstanding the animation of the 
dialogue, Yvonnet suddenly stopped, placed his hand on 
the pretty mouth of the young girl, leaned forward, and 

A sound like that made by the steady tramp of a great 
number of feet on the turf seemed to come to his ear as 
he listened. 

Looking forward, he thought he saw an immense black 
serpent creeping up to the wall. 

But the night was so dark and the noise so imperceptible 
that all this might be an illusion as well as a reality, espe- 
cially as the sound and movement suddenly stopped. 

Yvonnet looked and listened, but neither saw nor heard 
anything more. 

Yet while holding the young girl clasped to his breast, 
he kept his eyes eagerly fixed on the point to which they 
were first directed, and stretched his neck out between the 

Soon he thought he saw the gigantic serpent raise its 
head against the gray wall, and rise along this wall, as if 
jio reach the parapet of the curtain. 

Then, like a hydra-headed monster, the serpent darted 
)ui a second head near the first, and a third near the second. 


Upon this all became clear to Yvonnet; without losing 
a minute, he took Gudule in his arms, and, recommending 
her to be silent, passed her to Franz, who, with the aid of 
his uncle, restored her to her chamber in the same manner 
in which she had been carried out of it. 

Then, running to the nearest ladder, the young man 
reached it just as the first Spaniard stood upon the parapet 
of the curtain. 

Great as was the darkness, a gleam of light could be seen 
through the shadow; next a cry was heard, and the Span- 
iard, pierced by the slender sword of Yvonnet, fell backward 
from the wall. 

The noise of his fall was lost in a frightful crash ; it was 
the second ladder laden with men, which, hurled back by 
the sinewy arm of Heinrich, tore along the wall with a 
hoarse, grating sound. 

On his side, Franz discovered an abandoned beam in his 
path; and, raising it above his head, he let it fall on the 
very centre of the third ladder. 

The ladder was broken at a place above two-thirds of its 
height from the ground; and men, ladder, and beam were 
pitched pellmell into the fosse. 

Meanwhile Yvonnet, while striking with all his might, 
was at the same time shouting as loudly as he could 

"To arms! to arms!" 

The two Scharfensteins ran to his aid, at the very mo- 
ment two or three Spaniards had set foot on the rampart 
and were pressing him closely. 

One . of the assailants fell cloven by the enormous sword 
of Heinrich; another rolled senseless under the mace of 
Franz; the other, as he was making ready to strike 
Yvonnet, was seized by the waist by one of the two 
giants, and hurled over the wall. 

At the same moment Jean and Guillaume Pauquet ap- 
peared at the extremity of the Kue du Vieux-Marche, 
attracted by the cries of the three adventurers, and bear- 
ing each a torch in one hand and an axe in the other. 


From that moment the surprise was a failure; and in 
response to the united cries of the bourgeois and the adven- 
turers, succors arrived both from the Saint- Jean tower and 
the big tower bordering on the Faubourg Ponthoille. 

Then at the same time, and as if all these attacks had 
been part of one general movement, and arranged to break 
out together, the detonation of a thousand arquebuses was 
heard half a league away in the plain, in the direction of 
Savy, behind the chapel of Epargnemaille ; and between 
the earth and the sky arose that reddish cloud which hov- 
ers above a lively fusillade. 

The two enterprises that of the Spaniards to surprise the 
city, and that of Dandelot to succor it had both failed. 

We have seen how chance caused the failure of that of 
the Spaniards; we must now tell how this same chance 
caused the failure of that of the French.